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In One Word

inonewordOn a recent shopping trip to the mall, I was walking past store after store thinking to myself “If I had to use one word to describe (insert name of retail store) what would it be.  For some, it was easy to do.  For others, not so much.

From a marketing standpoint, this was an excercise in positioning.  How well does a particular brand own an idea or concept in the mind of the consumer.    What, if anything, does that company symbolize?  Try this the next time you are driving past a shopping center or office park.  Look at the logo and think of the one word that comes to mind.  What do you think of when you see Sears? JC Penney’s?  Limited? Starbucks? Coca-Cola? Pepsi? Fed-Ex? UPS?  Target?  Walmart? Taco Bell? Chipotle?  Whole Foods? If someone is with you, ask them to do the same?  Compare notes and see how your perceptions align.

Now if you are really daring, by daring I mean smart, ask them to describe your business in one word.  Can they do it at all?  Do they have any idea what you or your company represents?  Do they know what your position in the marketplace is?  Probably not.

Next ask yourself, do you have one? What does your company symbolize? Can you tell them in one word?  Three?  Five?  Seven?  This is a fun excercise, and also very useful in establishing a proper identity for your company.  Feeling really daring, again by daring I mean smart?  Ask people on the web, friends and strangers, to do this.  Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, create a google form, put a post on a blog, whatever – ask them and see what happens.