This year’s hottest holiday gift is the children’s toy Hatchimals. In case you don’t have children, television, the Internet, or read the news, Hatchimals are basically Ferbies that come inside an egg and hatch out after a child spends some time playing with and touching the egg.

Hatchimals have captured children’s hearts across the world. As a result, they’ve been selling out everywhere. The price for Hatchimals on Ebay has skyrocketed in recent weeks as desperate parents take to the web in search of their child’s number one requested gift.

As a digital marketer, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the continued rise of Hatchimals in the digital marketplace. What Hatchimals has accomplished online is genius. They’ve managed to create a brand that is culturally synonymous with the product type.

We’ve seen this before from other highly successful brands, such as Kleenex and Xerox, and the genius of achieving such high-level cultural mind share is not just in the free publicity the brand receives every time someone asks for a Kleenex instead of a tissue, it’s in how the cultural mind share manifests itself in Google Adwords.

Let me explain.

Why They Get More Clicks and Why Their Competitors Won’t

In today’s marketplace, if you don’t have a digital presence it is unlikely you will succeed. Furthermore, if you don’t have a visible Google presence it is just as unlikely.

The majority of people on the web don’t type a URL and visit a website directly. They type a search query in Google and arrive at a page that Google presents to them in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

The Ads that appear at the top of a SERP are presented to you by means of the Google Adwords platform, where advertisers bid on specific keywords.

Aside from bid price, Google presents ads based on other factors as well, such as Quality score and ad extensions. Quality Scores are used by Google to determine an ad’s relevancy. They are used in an effort to improve which ad gets shown when. The goal is to show the right ads to the right people at the right time. CTR’s are also factored into the Quality Score metric.

The genius of Hatchimals is that their trademarked brand name is the same as their most high-traffic keyword – Hatchimals. Therefore, most people who search Hatchimals will click on their ads over any competitors, as their brand is what’s being queried. This drives up CTR’s, relevancy, and thus the brand’s Quality Score, which results in better ranking at a lower cost!

And if that’s not enough to get you excited, there is also the added benefit that their competitors will face limitations from the get go.

As with all successful products, there will surely be a slew of knock offs soon to flood the market. But these competitors will be at a huge disadvantage as Hatchimals has already become culturally synonymous with the product type. Just like Kleenex, Go Pro, Xerox, Band-Aid, Ziploc, Q-Tips, Windex, and even Google itself (Google’s a verb now!), Hatchimals has earned the major mind share.

What this means is that even if a child sees a competitor’s product on TV and asks for it, the parent will likely search Hatchimals when they go online to search for it.

And given the higher relevancy of the brand Hatchimals for any search query results for “Hatchimals,” any competition will have to bid more than the company Hatchimals for what will likely be a lower ranking. Competitors will never achieve the same CTRs and relevancy for the keyword “Hatchimals” as the brand Hatchimals. It will just never happen.

That is the genius of Hatchimals – achieving cultural synonymity between their trademarked name and product type.

Trademark Erosion: The Dangers of Genericization

The only danger that a company faces when they achieve high levels of cultural synonymity between trade name and product type is that they run the risk of trademark erosion.

According to Legal Zoom:

Sometimes, a trademarked term can become so tied to the identity of a particular kind of product that it becomes generic — which can lead to the loss of a trademark. Examples of product terms that were trademarked and lost that status include zipper and aspirin. This often happens because the holder of the trademark does not properly monitor and police the use of the term in public. When the term in question becomes commonly used to refer to a product regardless of its manufacturer and a competitor uses the term to advertise its own services, the trademark holder may sue in federal court. If the judge determines the term in question now describes a class of products or services and not just the good or service provided by the trademark holder, she will now deem the term to be “generic” and strip the trademark.

While this is extremely unlikely to happen to Hatchimals, given the size and scope of their business, it is still something that, in theory, could happen.