It’s both a blessing and a curse when a product becomes so popular and well-liked that its name becomes generic.
It’s a blessing because the brand name becomes known as the standard for the industry, but it’s also a curse because the name can become generic and be confused with brands of lesser quality.
Just ask Kimberly-Clark, which owns Kleenex. The brand name has come to mean any facial tissue, including those made by competitors. It’s the same with Xerox, which saw its name transformed into both a verb and a catchall term for photocopies from any copier.
On a smaller scale, we’ve seen this happen with ProPress ®, Viega’s copper press fitting system. Viega was the first to introduce pressing to the North American market and, as the popularity of pressing grew, the name became well known in the trades.
Competitors then entered the market with their own press fittings under other brand names, but many contractors who got their start in pressing with ProPress continue to use the brand name to refer to all copper press fittings. And it’s not just contractors; some distributors also fail to make the distinction and offer up a competitor’s fitting when a customer asks for ProPress.
While we’re flattered that ProPress (and also MegaPress) have become the industry standards, we want to remind our customers that if they want Viega quality, they should ask for it and doublecheck the brand name. Make sure you’re getting what you want. Not all fittings are created equal – and only Viega is ProPress.