The Most Important Sentence

By: Dan Kennedy on: February 14th, 2011 11 Comments

The other day I saw a new TV commercial for the first time, for a new extreme version of the OTC version of Pepcid, actually a medicine intended to treat a serious condition, but used now as a substitute for Tums or Alka-Seltzer, but taken before eating food you know will try to kill you rather than afterward.

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 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 Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

11 Responses

  1. This is exactly what I am going to do for the niche that I’m going to kick the door down in.

  2. Donna Kopf says:

    There is an Ashiatsu massage company whose slogan had really caught my attention a few years back. Ashiatsu is the form of massage where the practitioner uses her feet instead of her hands. The slogan was “Get off your feet and under ours.” Pretty clever.

    Another company that provided corporate chair massage, “The best way to relieve pressure is to apply it.” Good stuff.

    I’m still looking for a USP to summarize my prescription massage company. “Doctor prescribed massage treatments for auto accident injury rehabilitation in the Texas Hill Country” just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Nor does it stick in the mind of potential patients. I’m working on it. Thanks for the motivation to find my own “Fear No Food”/ “30 minutes or it’s free”/ “When it just has to be there overnight” slogan!

  3. “Identify what you want to be known for and tie in the entire experience of using your product/service and the promise (desired end result) into the single sentence.” Great stuff. I’ve never read a case for creating a stellar USP, slogan, etc. as clearly and convincingly as your post. Thanks, Dan.

  4. 150 percent money back guarantee on auto repair . We are the convenience experts as we pick up and deliver auto repair . We trademarked the the phrase “auto repair store at your door ” as we are often at their door for delivery

  5. Donna Kopf says:

    Rick, I like the “auto repair store at your door”! I would definitely remember that if I needed auto repair to come to me!

  6. @ Donna Kopf , how is
    Doctor Approved Massage Therapy

  7. Coach Dan says:

    This is something I definitely need to do so I can stand out in my niche. I like the auto repair store at your door…that’s definitely memorable.

  8. Anita Hampl says:

    I’ve been playing with “Short Attention Span Writer” and it seems to resonate with folks around here.

  9. That is a strategy I think where you are getting the attention of people and that it will be familiar to them. In that way, they can always remember your product.

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