Troax steel mesh for property protection, storage areas.

We are The Original and have become a generic word

• 4 min read

What do you think about when you hear the term the original? Maybe it’s an artist or a song, which comes to mind first before it had been copied or remade by others. Maybe it’s a painting composed firsthand, like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Maybe it’s an original document, signed and validated as a contract. It might even be a funny, unique or eccentric person. Businesswise it can be the first brand at the scene or the trademark that becomes the generic word.

This blog will review the latter meaning of the original, i.e. brand names that become the official known product name in the eye of the consumer.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Is the product the original, new or just different?

First, remember that Socrates and Descartes said that there is no such thing as original thought and that nothing is new; meaning that all new ideas to some extent have been used before. 
So, by trusting these old guys you can interpret that everything original in our mind is only different from what has been. And in my opinion, an original product or brand must have something unique that distinguishes it from other prior products or brands on the market. 

Three criteria to become a generic word

The term for the process in which a brand name becomes the generic word for a type of product is called genericization. A famous example of this is Xerox and what we can learn from them is the 3 following things:

  1. They are the original
    were first with a unique copy machine
  2. They are big
    have market dominance 
  3. They have big mindshare
    a substantial level of consumer awareness within its market

So, the next time you go to the Xerox machine to make a paper copy, think about how the language would look like if we didn’t have all these generic words.

Photo by Lisa Moyneur on Unsplash

What would we call the products if they hadn’t become generic words?

Jeep - Sport utility vehicle
Thermos - Vacuum flask
Yo-yo - Toy on a string
Plexiglass - Moldable plastic
Escalator - Moving stairway
Jacuzzi - Hot tub
Frisbee - Flying disc
Post-It Note - Sticky note
Jumbotron - Large-screen television
Taser - Stun gun
Google - Internet search engine

Facts: Business Insider


Troax – The Original

In the market of property protection and cellar storage, Troax is also a good example of where the brand name has become a generic word. Customers don’t say that they want a mesh panel fence, they clearly state that they want a Troax fence. This even if Troax isn’t involved at all.

  1. We are The Original
    Troax was founded in 1955 and started to produce welded mesh on tubular frames in 1965, which was a unique product back then - Check
  2. We are big
    Troax is the market leader for this type of product, with worldwide presence - Check
  3. We have big mindshare
    Of course, you need a Troax fence to protect your cellar storage - Check

Photo by Braden Barwich on Unsplash

Genericide – a real risk for well-known brands?

When a very successful well-known trademark has become a generic word, the company must work hard to keep the protected legal status of its name. But if the interest from consumers and other manufacturers is too big, there is a risk that a federal court will judge the name to lose its legal rights. It would then become a common noun or verb, to be used for anyone and in any way. This is called genericide and some examples are thermos, escalator and aspirin.
There are Trademarks that still are fighting to keep their legal name rights, such as Walkman, Kleenex, Rollerblade, Plexiglass and previously mentioned Xerox.

Troax - The Original

I’m however not afraid that Troax will become genericizied and lose its legal rights for the trademark. Instead, I believe Troax will continue to benefit from the position of having a product like Troax fence which is a generic word and the one you think of when your storage needs to be protected. 

And that, my friend,
is the big advantage of being The Original!

Stefan Lundgren, Product Manager, Warehouse Partitioning & Property Protection
Stefan Lundgren
Product Manager, Warehouse Partitioning/Property Protection