Kleenex, Tupperware, Coke, Google, WordPress?

By Michael, 15/09/20

Over the years some brands have been lucky enough to become proper nouns (or verbs) and fall into everyday use in a way that wasn't planned.

How many of you call a tissue a Kleenex, or call your food storage containers Tupperware, go to a bar and ask for a Coke, and let's face it we all Google (and never Bing, but used to Yahoo)! All of these things are firstly a brand, but we use them in everyday life as nouns - whether or not what you get is actually that brand for the most part doesn't matter.

I guess I could be showing my age, but I know of (and have said) all of these things.

This led me to consider the idea that WordPress has become a proper noun and is now the default request when someone comes and asks for a website, but is it really what they want or need?

Often, we get enquiries from people looking for a new website and they ask for a "WordPress website". My response to this question is always "Do you specifically want a WordPress website, or do you just need a website that you can update and maintain content yourself?" It's about a 50/50 split between the two possible answers.

Of those that say they specifically want a WordPress website mostly it is because someone has told them that's what they need, so that's what they go looking for and won't consider alternative options. Sure WordPress is the most popular content management system around, but it doesn't mean it's the best (or any particular one is the best, but that's another story), but there are other options, and as a business owner it is worth considering what they may be and what they have to offer.

Those in the other camp (where they are open to consider other CMS platforms) typically value the advice, experience and the solution more. Designing and building a website is a collaborative process and working with an agency that will offer and share ideas might just open your eyes to ideas you hadn't considered, a different way of doing things that may be better process for your business.

At Mity we made the decision many years ago to specialise in the Joomla CMS platform and that is what we use for the majority of our projects, but we're never selling Joomla as such, we're selling a solution to a need or problem a business has, it just happens that we use Joomla as the underlaying technology.

As a bit of fun here are some other brands that are commonly (or were) used as nouns or verbs:

  • Hoover - that's what my (and many others) grandmother called vacuuming
  • Xerox - back in the day that's what photocopying was called (do we even photocopy anymore?)
  • Walkman - remember the Sony cassette Walkman, or the Discman evolution?
  • Band-aid - actually a brand owned by Johnson & Johnson, but what else do you call those sticky plastic strip you put on cuts?
  • Kiwi Fruit - this one was a shock for me. Did you know that Kiwi Fruit was actually a name made up by New Zealand as a marketing exercise? It's actually a Chinese Gooseberry!