I had missed Lord Saatch’s recent pronouncement on One Word Equity – the idea that in the future, you will only be able to communicate your brand with a single word. My thanks therefore to Ray Snoddy in this week’s Marketing magazine for drawing this to my attention.
As Snoddy says, if this is the case, you better make sure it is the right word. For example, he claims the current Labour government can be currently summed up by a single word: Prescott.
According to Lord Saatchi, Google currently owns "search" while Apple owns "innovation".
Interesting that the two examples he mentions are technology brands. Nevertheless, if he is right, then it raises some interesting implications for marketing and PR. If you have a brand that owns your desired one word, then perhaps we’ll see the emergence of press releases containing a single word (what more do you have to say?). Perhaps journalism will turn into penetrating analyses of the meaning contained within these single words. Snoddy did point out that Saatchi needed 2500 words in order explain his theory of one word equity.
Saatchi’s theory also claims that only a single company can own a word. Given there are around 750,000 words to choose from in the English language, that presumably means that you can’t have more than 750,000 brands (and lets face it, only a small proportion of these words would presumably have any meaning worth "owning" by a brand. Or perhaps companies will re-engineer their product and service offerings in order to own a unique word – Aardvaark anyone?)
Still – it does allow one to play a little game to see which companies might conceivably own a word already – or which one they ought to have.
Anyone care to offer which words the following companies should own?