Verbing Up – The Ultimate Status Symbol?

June 5, 2013 / Branding, News /

Many consider financial success to be the ultimate measure of a brands accomplishments. The point when that brand has grown so large financially that its exceeded the expectation of those closest to it, boasting totals revenue that dwarf most nations GDP. Of course the benefits of extreme wealth is appealing – it shows a sense of power, control and influence in the market place – but does that promote success or greed in the minds of consumers?


Currently it’s understood that of the top hundred economies worldwide – 52 of them are businesses – whose revenue outweighs the GDP of many smaller nation. A great example of this is Coca Cola who currently have revenue margins greater than the GDP of Bolivia, Kenya and Bahrain, put together.


Another common example used to measure a brands success is global recognition. This could be considered as the reach one brand or individual may have worldwide; geographic and demographic segmentation, market consumer variation etc. Lady Gaga is a great example of a brand with an enormous global recognition. Through one social media platform alone Lady Gaga has over 31 million followers (Twitter) in over 27 different countries. That’s larger than the total population of Australia and 10 million more than the man considered one of the most recognised and influential individuals on the planet, Barack Obama.


And that’s just one medium. Take into account her various forms of branding; additional social media sites, music labels, clothing, accessories and a variety of other items. Overall her brand is estimated to be seen by billions on a weekly basis and influence millions of people, worldwide, daily. As a brand you would be happy with large amounts of money and global recognition, but is that the ultimate status symbol?

Personally, I would argue that the obvious choice in measuring a brand’s status in the market would be when that brand has achieved verb status or verbing up.


But this wasn’t always the case.


Go back through the last decade and you will see a variety of organisations expressing concern about the use of their brand name as a verb. Businesses saw this as a major flaw, with their name being associated with rival brands in the same market and the industry. Companies such as Xerox (2004), Google (2006) and Adobe Photoshop (2011) all expressed concern about the issue of their brands becoming too ‘generic’ in the marketplace and felt they would lose their appeal if something wasn’t done.


Since then a lot has changed with research indicating it’s now beneficial when consumers start to “verb up” with your brand name. The growth of the internet in particular, along with a variety of other mediums has meant reputations are being made as quickly as they are being destroyed and as a result to get ahead you can’t worry about the minor details. Having a brand that is at the forefront of consumer’s minds is a lethal commodity and should be considered an invaluable tool in your brands fight for success.


Think about it. Realistically, when consumers “Google” something instead of “searching”  for it or when they need to “Skype” their friends, they are acknowledging that brand as a leader – a new standard in that market segment, or even inventors. What brand manager wouldn’t want that?


The other true benefit to having your brand reach verb status is purely and simply pride. In achieving verb status, 95% of the time you need to tick all the right boxes. Your name, logo and branding needs to be exceptional. Your advertising and marketing campaigns need to hit their target markets, not purely on a single occasion but regularly and remain current throughout. Finally, your product (or service) needs to be top notch – innovative and regularly updated – to ensure you stay ahead of competition.


At the end of the day everyone is going to have their own opinion on what is deemed to be the ultimate status symbol for a brand. What it all comes down to is providing your company with the right branding foundation that will ensure your organisation has the best chance of success in the market. You may not reach verb status, have a GDP greater than a country or be talked about by millions on a daily basis. Putting your best foot forward in your respected industry will go a long way to providing your company with the recipe it needs for success.
In making your dream of reaching verb status a reality, a crucial step is ensuring your brand image is right, and no one understands that better than us here at UNO. Why not give us a call and let us help you make your dream of one day reaching verb status a reality.


*UNO Australia is a Melbourne based creative design agency located on the outer skirts of Richmond, specialising in graphic, product and exhibition / retail interior design solutions. If you are looking to develop your brand or product, feel free to contact us for further information. We look forward to hearing from you.