Saturday, March 08, 2008

Business Slogans

Many years ago there was a small business in downtown Phoenix that sold hot dogs for a nickel. Its owner, clearly a man of wisdom, posted a sign that pretty much summed up his pricing philosophy:

"A fast nickel is better than a slow dime."

I've had cause to remember that throughout my career. So often, we are waiting for the dime and missing the benefit of the immediate. It is odd that the hot dog vendor decided to explain his pricing instead of extolling his hot dogs but perhaps he assumed that, given the price, his customers didn't expect extraordinary quality. I suspect they appreciated his candor.

Some slogans go right to the heart and minds of the customer base. The beer company that touted its brew as "The one to have when you're having more than one" knew its drinkers, many of whom were probably having six or seven before dozing off in the Barcalounger.

"Diamonds are...[fill in the blank]" illustrates how these slogan get drilled into us. However memorable, the catchy phrases only work if there is at least a plausible linkage to reality. The effective slogans have a measure of credibility.

The flakey ones only elicit a hearty "Oh yeah?"


Anonymous said...

My family was nowhere near middle class but did aspire to that height. :)
My father had a slogan that I'll never forget -
"Never buy the cheapest you can find but the best you can afford."
(Now if I can only convince my clients...)

Michael Wade said...


Your father's slogan should be posted in homes and board rooms!