What is Clorox?

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

This is Clorox. Or is it?

To most people, Clorox is the leading brand of liquid chlorine bleach.

I know that.

You know that.

It's the powerful stuff that I ruined a load of laundry with when I was 10 years old. I got into big trouble. But I sure did learn what Clorox was.

After a recent trip to the store, I noticed something peculiar in the grocery aisle.

Clorox is everything. Or darned near.

Let's take a look.

Clorox is a bleach-free bathroom cleaner AND a bathroom foamer with bleach?

Clorox is a kitchen cleaner with bleach?

It's a gel cleaner with bleach that eliminates stains and a cleaner + bleach?

Clorox is a disinfecting wipe without bleach?

Clorox is a toilet bowl cleaner? Do I need the clinging gel? Why, is there something wrong with the regular?

Toilet bowl cleaner with bleach? What if I want to repel stains AND deodorize?

Clorox is a toilet wand?

Clorox is a micro-fiber mop?

Clorox is a cotton mop? Really?

Clorox is in dishwashing liquid?

The only thing that could be worse is a Clorox dishwashing liquid.

Oh lord.

No one wants to wash dishes in Clorox. Clorox goes in the laundry.

Clorox whitens my white towels. It's harsh and dangerous. It kills things, like germs. As a kid I learned that from my mom. No one wants it in their mouth. We don't want things that kill in our mouths.

Perhaps the only people who don't understand the Clorox brand are the ones who own it?

As chlorine beach goes, Clorox is about as established as a brand name could ever be. It's the best bleach brand ever. To channel Al Ries, Clorox owns a position in the mind of consumers. It owns a word. And it ain't mops. It's bleach. It's the number one bleach of all time, and there is nothing wrong with that.

What the Clorox company is trying to do is make the Clorox name itself to be more like a Proctor & Gamble, where P&G is known as the conglomerate that owns a stable of individual branded product lines. There is one big problem with that - it just won't work. Why? Because Clorox is a word that is already defined in the minds of the consumer. A hundred million dollars of advertising might as well be flushed down the toilet because it's practically impossible to redefine a word in the mind of the consumer.

It would be much better to take those same advertising dollars and rebrand the conglomerate and let Clorox be Clorox. I don't care how much money Clorox spends advertising Clorox mops or toilet wands, in my mind Clorox is bleach and always will be. If my wife tells me to stop by the store and pick up some Clorox, we both know exactly what she means: bleach. And when I buy bleach, Clorox is the brand I buy because it's the leader. It's number one. Why mess with a good thing?