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The eponym: a marketer’s holy grail

The eponym: a marketer’s holy grail

An eponym or “name giver” is someone or something that becomes synonymous with the service provided. I was playing Wiffle Ball® with a Hacky Sack® while eating Granola® and Beer Nuts® until it was time for TV Dinners® next to our Fiberglass® Jacuzzi®. Using these generic terms pejoratively could raise the ire of these corporations’ trademark lawyers, but used passively the businesses are thrilled. After all, it’s the first thing you think of the next time you’re buying toys, food or outdoor tubs.

The world’s very best Internet branders and marketers realize the pinnacle moment for their product comes when the greater public adopts their proper nouns in common language. And it’s happening even as we speak. Googling has become eponymous for any Internet search – blogging, facebooking and tweeting are other eponyms, each recently integrated within our daily language while a younger generation may not even realize their origins. Perhaps the litmus test for measuring weather something is truly revolutionary comes down to the eponym.

Eponyms that have arrivede

  • Ebay – “You should ebay that Hermes scarft” (Excellent)
  • LinkedIn – “Are we LinkedIn?” (Excellent)
  • Apple – “Is there an App for that?” (Holy Grail)
  • Pinterest – “Pin it on your site” (Holy Grail)
  • PayPal – “Send the money online” (Holy Grail – because it’s the default)
  • Google – “Google him immediately!” (Holy Grail)
  • Facebook – “Friend me and we’ll go out” (Holy Grail)
  • Upworthy – “Your kitten pictures are upworthy” (Holy Grail)

Finding its footing

  • Bitcoin – “Bitcoin that drug money out of Colombia!” (Also synonymous with “get a lawyer”)
  • Instagram – “Instagram me that picture, please” (Good, if you want sepia pictures)
  • Amazon – “What about buying that new book for the beach? Prime it!” (Catching on)
  • YouTube – “I saw it on YouTube” (Expect a 2 minute shaky video)
  • Netflix – “I watched it on Netflix (A crappy movie or great television show)
  • Wikipedia – “Look it up on Wikipedia” (95% accurate)
  • Tumblr – “My social life doesn’t exist because I’m always on tumblr” (True)
  • Craigslist – “She found it on Craigslist” (She must live in the city)
  • Pornhub – “I’m addicted to free porn.” (Synonymous with ‘free porn’)
  • Huffington Post – “I love Bill Clinton and Huffington.” (Works)
  • Drudge Report – “The minimum wage should be just that – zero!” (Works)

Doesn’t quite work

  • – “You should Ask about that.” (Nope)
  • Bing – “You going to bing your blind date?” (Nope)
  • Yahoo! – “I wonder if she sent it to my Yahoo!” (Nope and vaguely vulgar)

Getty Images and Facebook executive say marketers rely on fear-mongering tactics

Stock photography allows branders and marketers to introduce what many agree are the four basic marketing emotions that get people to pay attention to an advertisement: Greed (75% off!), Vanity (Be the best!), Exclusivity (Limited edition!) and Emotion (Don't lose in life!). Companies like Apple elicit exclusivity when new hardware flies off the shelf. The sports equipment industry knows that vanity is the great motivator for selling their products and major grocery chains rarely veer from catering to customers' greed. Now, representatives from two of the richest media companies, Facebook and Getty Images, have teamed up in an attempt to force marketers to diversify their imaging strategy by stymieing the emotional female fear-mongering advertisement. Their message has more to do with the desire for marketers to diversify which emotions they are eliciting when portraying images...

Twitter loses billions due to bad design

On February 5th Twitter announced that slowing sales and disappointing user growth means they need to reconfigure their design and core functionality. Twitter’s chief executive, Dick Costolo, told disappointed stock holders that twitter is desperately working on making its interface easier for users to use. “We will continue to invest in making Twitter a more visually engaging medium,” he said. “It will be a combination of changes introduced over the year that we believe will begin to change the slope of the growth curve.” But could bad design really explain the nearly 25% erosion in its stock price? Absolutely. Twitter is facing a slowdown in user growth, admitting that only 3.9% quarterly growth is half what previous quarters experienced. The shocking drop in the company's valuation could point to a hyperinflated stock price, but New...

What flavor is your website?

If websites came in ice cream flavors, many website entrepreneurs would think theirs a variety of Ben & Jerry's. "Wait until you hear about this cool idea," they say. "No, this one's different – there's something unique in this business recipe!" Never mind they're probably trying to reinvent the wheel. Listen and nod. Being a website manager invites clients and acquaintances to offer endless ideas on their next great Internet offering. "That's a great idea!" you say. "Now, Google it and see how many others are doing it already." Listen and nod. Butter Beendone Before or Strawberry Pipe Dream? The point here is that most websites and ice cream flavors consist of the same basic ingredients. Although Baskin Robins famously claims 31 flavors, most of these flavors start with chocolate, vanilla or some common...

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