Last week, I was at my village’s small grocery store, when a 40-year old man comes in. After greetings, he looks around, stops for a few seconds and then loudly asks the shop owner: “Do you have Sohat other than Tannourine?”

For non-Lebanese readers who are reading my newsletter, Sohat and Tannourine are two brands of bottled waters.  Although Sohat has 35% of the market share, the way their brand name is being used isn’t helping them. If you walk into any shop in Lebanon and ask for a Sohat, you will get whatever bottled water they have. Sohat has become a synonym for bottled water.

Are you a business owner? Perhaps you’re thinking of starting one? In any case, think about how you want your potential customers to view your company, and plan how you’re going to achieve that.