I’m noticing more and more how many things people frame as anti-corporate that are actually super-useful for corporations. Like, using generic terms for things that are mainly known by a brand name. There’s a thing called genericization, in which a product name, if widely enough used to refer to that object regardless of its manufacturer, loses its trademark. This legal principle gives the general population proportionate power over the language they use, but it’s dangerous for corporations, because if their product gets too popular, too baked into the culture, they lose their right to claim exclusivity.
So corporations, like Band-Aid, walk a fine line between wanting to be the generic term, and wanting people to know that they’re a brand name. That’s why they put the word “Brand” in their jingle.
There’s a scene in the Clerks tv show, which I would have sworn was in the movie,
Customer: Mary, Mother of God! I cut my hand on a rubber band! Do you sell Band Aids?
Randal: Band Aids is a brand name. The proper term is adhesive strips.
Dante: The man is bleeding to death and you're getting into a semantics argument?
Randal: Man, name brand word association is one of the more subtle threats to this nation's free trade. It gives the larger, well-known companies an unfair advantage. I'm doing my part to keep the playing field level by weaning people off referring to generic products with brand names.
Dante: Way to show some backbone.
Randal: No spine of Jell-O here, my friend.
Customer: So do you sell adhesive strips or what?
Customer: Well, that's just great. What are we gonna use to hold the merry-go-round together?
Randal’s wrong here. Using Band-Aid as the word for all band-aids doesn’t help Band-Aid, it’s a threat to their right to use the word Band-Aid exclusively.