One of the fastest routes to failure is giving a brand a generic name.

History often leads us astray. In the past, some of the most successful companies (and brands) had generic names.

  • General Motors, General Electric, General Mills, General Foods, General Dynamics.
  • Standard Oil, Standard Brands, Standard Register Company, Standard Products Company.
  • American Airlines, American Motors, American Broadcasting Company, American Telephone & Telegraph, American Express, Aluminum Company of America.
  • National Broadcasting Company, National Biscuit Company, National Car Rental.
  • International Business Machines, International Paper, International Harvester, International Nickel.

Some companies have even tried to combine two ...

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