A lot of people tell me how funny the word "mindshare" looks. It's a made up word that, apparently, has a completely artificial definition. I like things that way. It appeals to my deep desire for ultimate control over things (insert ominous, evil cackle). Really now, "mindshare" is one of the most valuable concepts in marketing.
Everyone knows "market share." It's the portion of the market your brand owns. For example, Nike owns a HUGE percentage of the atheletic apparel market. The second concept of marketing is the "heart share." While you might not be familiar with the term, I guarantee you know the concept. Whenever a brand image or association tugs at your heart strings, it has a "share" of your heart. Think of children's hospitals for some, or highly successful sports teams for others.
The "mind share," or mindshare as I call it, is the third and arguably most valuable concept of marketing. It governs brand associations and name recognition. What do you call a facial tissue in your house? Probably a Kleenex. Even though "Kleenex" is a specific brand name, ALL facial tissues are considered Kleenex. Think also about Internet searches. Even if you use Ask.com as your search engine of choice, most people will still say you're "Google-ing" things online. Having this kind of power over customers' mental associations is priceless, and is the aim of every marketer in every industry.
Don't believe me? Check out this article forwarded to me by Aaron Daniels of International Business Development. It covers much of the same ground, but substitutes "mind space" for "mind share."