The book says: The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind“. Owning in this context means that if people hear or see this word they usually connect it with a company that”owns" this word. IBM owns “computer”. FedEx owns “overnight”. You can’t take somebody else’s word.
My comment: I can’t help but to think that this book has overly simplified thinking. Being simple is good but not when the reality is more complex. First this law seems to be derived from mega-corporation. The problem is that there aren’t that many companies that are big enough to own a word in people’s consciousness. Therefore the advice is only possibly relevant to a few people who design marketing campaigns for those behemots but useless for all small business. There aren’t even enough words to own to satisfy 10% of business in US.
See also Eric’s take