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When brand names become part of the lexicon


When brand names become part of the lexicon


With ‘Airwrap’ becoming a verb, it’s a good time to look at how brand names can influence consumer language.

Dyson is well-known for its revolutionary vacuum cleaners, but when it entered the world of haircare, it changed the market entirely. 

As the brand’s success continues, I was interested to see how the Airwrap has transformed our linguistics as consumers.

The Dyson Airwrap has been a real game changer in hair styling tools. 

Engineered with an aerodynamic concept dubbed the ‘Enhanced Coanda airflow’, the $899 tool boasts a ‘no extreme heat damage’ function, allowing it to style hair safely. 

Despite the high price tag, the product was an overnight success online, as influencers raved about the hair styling tool.

The brand is now conducting a tour around the UK to familiarise the Brits with the transformational possibilities of Dyson’s hair tools. Across multiple locations, free 30-minute styling sessions are being offered to convert the curious into customers who will buy the products. 

There’s no doubt that the ongoing promotions, rave reviews and influence on social media have given the Airwrap a huge amount of attention, but have they also influenced the way we speak about it?

As consumers, we are familiar with brands becoming embedded in our language. For example, it’s common to hear people saying Band-Aid instead of ‘bandage’ or ‘sticking plaster’, or hoovering (after the Hoover brand of vacs) instead of vacuuming. Another popular and even more recent example is people saying ‘Google it’ instead of ‘search’ or ‘look it up online’, which many people will do now without even thinking.

What exactly is this?

The phenomenon is called brand language – a marketing technique used to help consumers identify and strike connections between specific words and a given product or service. 

And we are now seeing on social media apps like TikTok everyday people using ‘airwrap’ in their vocabulary as a household word.

Interestingly, James Dyson once revealed it was his ambition to see his name replace ‘Hoover’ in the dictionary as the verb meaning to vacuum clean. Instead of doing the Hoovering, he wanted ordinary people to begin saying they were ‘Dysoning’. Well, that hasn’t come to pass as yet, but with the fame of the Airwrap, Dyson may have succeeded this time. 

The emergence of new brands is constantly changing linguistics.  According to language experts, the internet has become one of the biggest influences on the English language, regularly providing new additions to our vocabulary. Social media is a rich playground for users, creators and businesses to experiment in creating new words. It provides a platform for people who aren’t familiar with grammatical rules and syntax, and gives them a freedom to use unconventional words. 

As language evolves, businesses like Google and Disney have effectively managed to build strong associations with their brands and everyday words. They have been able to create a strong brand language, but does this mean the Dyson Airwrap will become cemented as part of our lexicon? 

Language follows changes in consumer behaviour and, as trends change, will the Airwrap evolve with them?

Who built the Dyson empire?

James Dyson was the inventor of the range of famous products that bear his name and facilitated the development of new technologies. His frustrations with vacuum cleaners influenced the motivation behind his first bagless vacuum cleaner. 

At first, the innovative eponymous vacuum failed to make many sales. But after 1995, it became a massive hit in UK stores. Since then, the Dyson has become a worldwide phenomenon.

The company moved into haircare in 2012 with a $50 million investment into the development of the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer. The company’s engineers found that a powerful airflow could be achieved if air was taken into a motor and accelerated over an annular aperture.


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Benay Ozdemir

Benay is an in-house writer for Niche Media.

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