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One Word Marketing

February 13, 2008 by

Recently, our own Brad Abare raised the question, “What word do you own?” on the Personality™ blog.

He discusses a recent Advertising Age article (subscription required) exploring the importance of your brand owning a single word. They look at political rhetoric to make this point as the nominees seek to associate a single word with their campaigns. Brad quotes from the article:

If you want to run for office, if you want to launch a new brand, if you want to jump-start your business career, the first question to ask yourself begins: ‘What word do I want to own in the minds of my prospects…”

So here’s the question for you: What word are you trying to own? When people think of your church, is there one word that you seek after most, and are you doing a good job of chasing that word?

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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6 Responses to “One Word Marketing”

  • Jim McGee
    February 14, 2008

    This is a great question, as it seems that most church taglines and mission statements are interchangeable.
    We ask our mystery visitors to churches to select up to five words from a list of several dozen to describe the church’s personality. I haven’t gone through our database to see what words are listed most frequently, but will plan to do so and comment again.
    Another thing we ask mystery visitors is whether they recall the church’s tagline or identity statement. Typically about 35% do so accurately.


  • Noreen
    February 15, 2008

    So fill me in: what’s a mystery visitor?


  • Noreen
    February 15, 2008

    So fill me in: what’s a mystery visitor?


  • Jim McGee
    February 16, 2008

    You’re nice to ask. Click on my name below to go to my site and read all about it. Also, be sure to check out http://www.ChurchRater.com (Jim Henderson’s site, not mine) to see another variation on the concept. Or read his book, Jim and Casper Go to Church.


  • Jonathan Greene
    February 16, 2008

    We’re currently in the process of attempting to implement this in our church. Our pastor has a vision for associating a single word with each of our services instead of “Sunday Church” or “Bible Study.” The idea is not to drown in the white noise of Church programs, but rather to stand out and emphasize our organizational calling.


  • Geoff Surratt
    February 17, 2008

    We want to own “spiffy”. We are currently leasing it, but if our capital campaign goes well we should be able to own it soon.



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