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Hook Line & Sinker – Secrets to a Great Memory Hook

Hook Line & Sinker - Secrets to a Great Memory Hook

Keren’s note: Be sure to watch our “Action Plan” free offer on our Instagram feed which we’re revealing for people who are members of BNI! Message us and mention this article to take part. You can also go for our “One amazing piece of content” offer – same terms apply!.

At structured networking events such as BNI, NRG or Athena, we regularly do “60 Second” speeches about our business. Ideally this includes who we are, what we do, how we add value, and of course, what time of business we are looking for. Many people/businesses also have a “hookline” – a sort of tagline which is said at the end of the little speech. Ours is “Top Left Design – Improve your presence online” – which rhymes and says what we do!

The great thing about memory hooks is that they help you be remembered – just what we need in today’s competitive world!

Keren had an educational slot to do about this topic – and of course did proper research! Much of this was found through the founder of BNI – Dr. Ivan Misner and a BNI website

What makes a good memory hook?

  1. it has to be easy to remember.
  2. It should be short and snappy
  3. Don’t include anything you don’t need.

Really Bad Memory Hooks

Here are some examples of REALLY bad memory hooks – they just don’t work!

TravelDiscounts on cruises, vacation packages and honeymoons for all BNI members & their referrals.
TelecomOne stop shop telecommunications provider for voice and internet services for the small to mid size business. Tier one Internet provider with local customer service.
TelecomGemson Wolman was founded in 1990 on the principle that everyone deserves access to advanced communications services, regardless of where they choose to live.
TelecomOnLink is a full-service telecommunications provider offering Local, Long Distance and Internet communications to both business and residential customers.
PropertyRated #1 by an independent Lab.
PropertyOur service makes the difference!

Tips to help – from the book
Seven Second Marketing by Dr. Ivan Misner

Use some of the 5 senses –

A good memory hook often appeals to the basic senses –
sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch.

“For balloons with a flair, remember the bear in the air.” – Balloons
“Come fly away with me.” – Travel agent
“If you want to get rubbed the right way, see Jim.” – massage therapist (who’s name is Jim)

Use humour

This is an important sense for memory hooks –and a great way to make it memorable – the sense of humour!

“Making people laugh is one of the fastest ways of breaking down the barriers between strangers and of winning the prospect’s good will.”

  • Everything we touch turns to SOLD – Property
  • Keep in touch so you don’t miss much – Telecoms
  • We won’t hit you but we will get you hits. – SEO company

Use puns or word play

  • “We check your shorts,” – Electrician
  • “Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you,” Dentist

Use your name:

  • Bob Howe, a mortgage lender, says, “Know Howe to get your next loan!”
  • “Put a little Joy in your next event” – an event organiser called Joy
  • “Remember don’t let your profits slips, think of Mark Day with the titanium hips” – Office equipment supplier

Use Rhyme:

  • “When the cops are in the foyer, call Frank, your friendly lawyer.”
  • “Top Left Design – improve your presence online!.”

Use parody

Parody means a song or a phrase the reader or listener will recognize. But you have to be careful – some authors, especially songwriters, are quite militant about copyright infringement.

  • “I believe in the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth, so help me God.” – Dentist

Double Reverse

This is a statement in which the second part either rephrases or reverses the first.

  • “A business without a sign is a sign of no business” – Sign company
  • “Get a life, get a life coach” – life coach

You can mix and match

These approaches should give you an idea of some of the tools and resources you can use to construct your own memory hook. Notice that many memory hooks use a combination of these techniques. Almost anything you do in the line of word play will come out funny—and that’s the way it should be, unless you’d rather appeal to the heart. Song lyrics usually rhyme, so if you parody a song, it should rhyme as well. And any of these techniques can be more effective if your memory hook is short and snappy and appeals to the senses.

Below is a selection of the memory hooks we found on the website memory – and we have categorised them based on the above concepts.

Hopefully this helps when you have to think of yours.

Examples of Memory Hooks

FinancialTaking the weeds out of your
financial needs.
Word Play
FinancialYou shouldn’t have to be a millionaire to be treated like one!Word Play/Emotional hook
FinancialI have a GREAT interest in your futureWord Play/Pun
FlowersWhen words escape, flowers speakWord Play
Food/BeverageWhisking away your dinner dilemmaWord Play/Pun
GiftsBecause We Care, Gift Baskets With FLAIR!Rhyme
InsuranceWe provide life after death.Word Play
MedicalWe make a smile last a lifetimeRhyme/Emotional hook
PhotographyWhere YOU are the star!Word Play/Emotional hook
Web DesignYour sure bet for the InternetRhyme
ITI take care of your computer so you can take care of your businessDouble Reverse
AccountingWhen you need help with your numbers, we’re the number to call.Double Reverse
LegalWhen Its Time to Die, I’m Your GuyRhyme/Attention grabbing
MedicalGetting you BACK to optimal health!Word Play
MedicalLet me get on your nerves!Word Play
MedicalOur eleventh commandment is: “only floss the teeth you want to keep”Humour/Attention grabbing
OfficeCopy, Fax, Print, Share and Scan John at Halsey is your man!Rhyme/Use of Name
Pest ControlLICENSED TO KILL !!!Parody/Attention grabbing
PrintingIf we can’t get it, you don’t need it.Attention grabbing/Double reverse
SignsA business with no sign, is a sign of no business!Attention grabbing/Double reverse
TradesWhere a flush always beats a full house!Parody
PropertyMy Mission…. To Accomplish Your Real Estate Dreams! Simon Morlis, Special AgentParody
PropertyA good referral for me is anybody who wants to live indoors!Attention grabbing
PropertyBecause City Living sure beats row after row of the same beige house!Attention grabbing
PayrollTired of paying your employees?
Let McBee Payroll pay them!
Attention grabbing/Use of Name
PrintingWe make your business look good on paper.Word Play

Other articles for more reference:

Tagged in:
  1. BNI
  2. Ivan Misner
  3. Memory Hooks


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  1. Jerilyn Hyndman

    Outstanding post once again! I am looking forward for your next post.