The Most Important Sentence

by Dan Kennedy | Sept 04, 2011

The other day I saw a new TV commercial for the first time, for a new extreme version of the OTC version of Pepcid. It was actually a medicine intended to treat a serious condition, but is now used now as a substitute for Tums or Alka-Seltzer.

Years ago, when I was a heavy drinker, overweight, and ate junk 24/7, I had stomach troubles and used to joke about sprinkling Tums on my food as seasoning. In my first sales job, the guy sent to train me, a 30 year territory rep, ordered a three glass drink in the bar: glass #1, Scotch straight, glass #2 water on ice, glass #3 ice only, to which he added Pepto-Bismol, then sipped #1, #2, #3, #1, #2, #3.

Anyway, the new Pepcid slogan is a dandy: FEAR NO FOOD. If they're smart, they'll make up T-shirts, form a Fear No Food Club, get a Club celebrity known for eating, etc.

It reminded me of the old Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is! slogan, also a terrific one because it tied the entire experience of using the product and the promise into the single sentence. USP's, slogans, "elevator speeches" are all important items. When you get them right, you can capture and hold a piece of the marketplace mind as your proprietary territory; when they think of "x", they think of you.

Truth is, few marketers ever get close to successfully staking out such territory, because they can never clearly enunciate what they are about - and stick with it. It's something to aspire to; being understood as being about something.

I hung one of my hats on "No B.S." for that purpose; to be known as the guy who tells it to you straight, who's blunt, a little coarse, certainly insensitive, but delivers value. And I think we've been pretty successful making this positioning stick.

It's a promise I've become known for, and known for keeping. Which begs the question for you and your business: are you about something? Is there a promise you've become known for, and known for keeping?

Dominos built its business on such a thing. So did FedEx. And even though neither company still uses the original promise/positioning statements, both are still imbedded in the marketplace mind, a testament to their effectiveness.

I'm sure you can recite both. So can quite a large number of each companies' customers. Can your customers and prospects recite yours?


Dan S. Kennedy is the provocative, truth-telling author of thirteen business books; a serial, multi-millionaire entrepreneur; trusted marketing advisor, consultant and coach to hundreds of private clients running businesses from $1-million to $1-billion in size; and he influences well over 1-million independent business owners annually through his newsletters, tele-coaching programs, local Chapters and Kennedy Study Groups meeting in over 100 cities.


Glazer-Kennedy Insider's Circle, owned and operated by internationally known marketing personalities Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer, is THE place where truly smart, progressive, aggressive entrepreneurs with a love of marketing, a sincere desire to get rich and richer (with no apologies for doing so), and an optimistic, forward-looking attitude, gather to exchange and share timely information and "what's working today" strategies and examples. Get Bill Glazer's #1 Bestselling Book, "Outrageous Advertising" for FREE. Click here.

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