What word do you own?

In Al Ries’s famous book, 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, he explains that if you want to build a brand, you must “focus your branding efforts on owning a word in the prospect’s mind. A word that nobody else owns.”

I couldn’t agree more. But it wasn’t until October 20th that it all came full circle:

“Yes, Mr. Ginsberg, I’m one of the editors of Cosmopolitan Magazine. I’d like to set up an interview with you for an upcoming piece. Please call me back at the following number…”

When I returned her call, she enthusiastically replied, “Oh great! I’m so glad you got right back to me – my deadline is tomorrow!”

“So, what can I do for you?” I asked.

“Well, have you ever seen those little ‘quizzes’ that Cosmo runs every month?”

“Oh, right. My girlfriend used to take those things in college.” I replied.

“Exactly! Well, as the editor of the section, it’s my job to seek out experts to help create those quizzes. And in our upcoming issue for January 2006, we’ll be running a quiz called ‘How Approachable Are You?’”

“Reeeeeealy,” I said.

“Yes. And in my research for possible contributors, I went on Amazon to search for books about approachability. And guess what? Your book was the first and only title that came up! So, we’d like for YOU to write the quiz. After all, you are the expert. Would you be interested?”

Um, are you kidding?! Me, write a quiz for one of the most widely read publications in the world?! I thought.

“Yes. Yes I would,” I said.


(Check out the full article on word ownership.)


What word do you own?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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