In the book “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” by Al Ries & Jack Trout, they mention that “owning a word in the prospect’s mind” is “the most powerful concept in marketing”. When you think of words in the online space, words such as “bookstore” or “search”, the direct connection to “Amazon” and “Google” by many participants is overwhelming. The word “online” helps to focus our attention to a certain category, the single word then helps to forge a connection with a brand which is strong in that space. Similarly with cars, the words, “safety” & “driving” are often unconsciously associated with “Volvo” and “BMW”.
In a world that is becoming increasingly more competitive and being continuously filled with new brands , single word associations are more powerful today than ever before. So how does a startup business go about owning a word? For starters, take the strongest core benefits of your product/service and link them with certain key words. For example, a brand like Rolex wants the word ‘perfection’ to be one of their key association words. To do this, they need to link the word to certain attributes such as the painstaking detail their watchmakers take, or the quality assurance processes that each watch must pass through. By linking the word to a tangible process or attribute the customer is able to connect the word to the brand with greater ease. In essence, it provides a framework for association.
Newer businesses and startups should strive to set strong and reliable foundations to build their brand names on. This process takes time and should never be rushed into. Words need to be picked with great care and thought, since they will shape and establish how you want your customers and prospects to think about what you do as a business. Once this is established, it is hard to dislodge the association, so avoid confusion about your brand by stringent initial brand strategies.