Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
One of the main objectives of Advertising and promotion is to establish what is called mind share (or share of mind). When people think of examples of a type or category of product, they think of a limited list (referred to as an evoked set). Any product included in an evoked set has mind share. For example, if you are considering purchasing a college education, you have several thousand colleges to choose from. However your evoked set, those that you will consider, will probably be limited to about ten. Of these ten, the colleges that you are most familiar with will have the greatest proportion of your mind share. Marketers try to maximize their product's share. Mind share can be established to a greater or lesser degree depending on market segment.
A similar concept is top of mind. The more easily you remember a brand, the closer it is to your top of mind. This implies that you have not forgotten or buried the information.
Dominant mind share
At the extreme, mind share is the status a brand can achieve when it is applied to a whole category of products. Kleenex, for example, once solely referred to Kleenex brand tissue but it has since become a common to use it as a term to identify any tissue, even if it is from an opposing brand. One of the most successful firms to have achieved this is Hoover, whose name was for a very long time synonymous with vacuum cleaner (and Dyson has subsequently managed to achieve similar status, having moved into the Hoover market with a more sophisticated model of vacuum cleaner). Another example of dominant brand is Google (where the word googling has ended up being used to mean 'on line searching') and iPod.
A legal risk of having dominant mind share is that the name can become so widely accepted that it becomes a generic term, and loses trademark protection (referred to as a genericized trademark). Examples include names such as escalator, mimeograph and aspirin (see genericized trademark for a more complete list).
In popular lexicon, a group of people who operate with a great deal of synergy can be thought of as having a mind share. This is the ideal state of a group.
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