Intentionally losing your trademark

Thomas’ is apparently trying to lose its trademark. The maker of English muffins and bagels (part of George Weston Bakeries), in its latest series of television advertisements is attempting to make its brand name synonymous with English muffins.

This is even more confusing since it also offers bagels. Why would the company decide to equate its brand with one product, which necessarily alienates the brand from its other product?

Most companies fight hard to keep their trademarks unencumbered (Kleenex, Xerox, Google, Frisbee …). See here.

While it may help promotion to a certain extent when customers and potential customers begin to equate a company name with a product genre, in this instance the case against such a move is stronger than normal — the company has evidently been most known for its bagels (not English muffins), given that its URL is http://www.thomasbagels.com.

What were they thinking?

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