On the Thermos.

This morning I awoke at my in-laws house, journeyed downstairs, and headed to the Thermos in which my father-in-law pours his pot of coffee (he says to prevent the burned taste). As I poured my cup of Joe, I considered all things ‘Thermos.’ Some brands are synonymous with a product. Thermos is one of those. I asked my Father-in-law if he ever knew of a time when a Thermos was called something else. He couldn’t.

In the 1970’s, after throwing your Thermos in your lunch pail and heading to the office, you would have asked a secretary, “Can you Xerox this for me?” But by the 80’s you would have learned that not all brands-as-synonymous are permanent. In my career lifetime, I have never requested my admin assistant Xerox something.  Copy it, yes.

Kleenex, Levi’s, Speedo, Rolodex, Bobby Pins and other brands have or have had brand-product synonymy. Sometimes brand as product name is regional. In Texas, we’ll ask you if you want a Coke, then ask you ‘What kind?’

Having a brand-as-synonymous position does not guarantee a sale, it only means you were an originator or set the quality bar. Rejoice if you have it, but do not rest on your laurels. The last time my family bought a box of Kleenex, we were Xeroxing.


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Jordan Fowler

Jordan helps small businesses grow as the owner of Moon & Owl Marketing, a marketing and advertising agency in Fort Worth, TX. Lover of cycling, track and field, and borderline Liverpool FC fanatic.

One thought on “On the Thermos.”

  1. I just wish I was smart enough to dive into this deep thinking. I only know that my wife agrees with your Father-in-Law. The coffee needs to be “thermosed” within minutes so as not to burn it. I guess I have drunk an awful lot of burnt coffee. Ok, so the taste buds are “fried”! Too much African hot pepper as a kid. I also hope I’m branded! and the real thing!

    and I also know it’s a good thing to be your friend!

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