What Will You Own in 2014?

"You can own the rain" is an inside joke that a good friend and I share—the punchline of an agency's pitch to a fashion apparel company many years ago. 

While the story still makes me laugh, the strategy of "owning" a singular idea in consumers' minds couldn't be more on the mark. A single word or enlightened phrase can do more to define a company or product than all of the brand jargon you can squeeze into an 85-page deck. 

Amazon.com owns "easy." Over a few bites of lunch, I can buy virtually anything with "one click" and have it delivered to my home in two days without a shipping charge. 

Procter & Gamble is once again staking its claim on "mom" with this heartstring-pulling campaign designed for the upcoming Sochi 2014 Olympics.

What does MasterCard own? (Shame if you didn't answer "priceless.") 

As simple as that sounds, most companies are afraid to pick such a singular idea, choosing instead to hedge their bets with a bland stew of characterless brand messages and attributes. 

In London later this week, a group of artists are opening an exhibition that asks the thought-provoking question, "Who owns the moon?" Every time you look up in the night sky this year, think of that question and ask yourself: What will you own in 2014?

Then ask yourself: Why not shoot for the moon?