“One Word” is the business- and personal strategy to unravel all tangles.
“One Word Branding,” for example, is the tactic of a corporation to make their marketing (and life) as easy, effective and cost-effective as possible.
It stands for reducing and summarizing the Brand into one word, and one word only. Imprinting it in your brain, that of your employees and, by doing so, in the minds of the whole market.
For DHL that one word used to be: “Overnight”.
For Coca-Cola: “Happiness”.
It was the absolute essence of what they wanted to transmit.
For companies know very well, that the modern human is bombarded and that it’s very difficult to get through to the brains or the memory plates. So they stick to one easy word, that is also repeated a thousand times or on every street corner.
Why would you do that? For in companies there’s no shortage of ideas and plans, and if you don’t have a One Word as governing umbrella over it all, you risk to go all directions, without one single and clear personality – and thus go nowhere.
For example, you decide on the word: “Classy”. You got to that word by first summarizing your whole business and aim and how you want to sit in the minds of people. Then you further summarized that phrase. Then you started polishing the last remaining words, and trying to feel what is the complete essence of it all.
So there you go, you decided on the word: “Classy”?
Now all following meetings become shorter, and just how much money you save on irrelevant marketing cannot be calculated. Take the average marketing meeting:
“Let’s organise a BBQ”!
”Let’s have T-shirts with our logo on it”!
”Let’s go network in roadside pubs”!
Then someone says: “Er… is that classy”?
Well, no. So all the wonderful ideas we are permanently saturated with, go out of the window, and the focus is instantly back on track. “Didn’t we want to be seen as classy? Attracting “classy” people, being invited to “classy” events”?
One Word keeps you on track, ensures that every step and every cent is spent on the greater goal, and none of it on time and strategies and tools that only hurt your brand.
Personally I no longer use it for any company, but for my life.
In which my One Word is: “Soul”.
For every day, there are hundreds of little decisions to make, and throughout life quite a few big or very big ones. And I don’t want to get into that mud of “do I go with my head or with my heart”? Having to still decide, at every turn, what makes you happy or makes your life go somewhere, is exhausting, energy absorbing, and I can’t really see how it makes progress anyway. For you went with your head, and then your heart will sulk. Or you went for a compromise, making neither of them peaceful. Not to mention how both “heart” and “brain” are vast universes by themselves.
At every step in life I ask: what does my soul say? What does my soul want? What does my soul need?
This way all bad karma has gone out of my life, all sleepless nights, all regrets, all insecurities. Opting for the voice of the soul, makes stable, strong, positive, healthy, without even trying.
(O yes, it is true: “What good is for a man to gain the whole world, but to lose his soul”? Zero good indeed).
For sure you will or can have your own One Word Guideline. Regardless of what it is, it will make things clearer, and mind and life rather a line than an exhausting tangle.