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A Sure Thing

Too long has the persuasive guarantee played a supporting role in ads. Why not make it the star in your own efforts? It works wonders, we promise.

This story appears in the March 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ah, the ubiquitous guarantee. That golden promise ofcraftsmanship, workmanship, performance, durability, freshness,whiteness, unshrinkability and lowest price that's slapped onvirtually every product and service marketed today. It'svariously dubbed "unconditional," "iron-clad,""money-back," "lifetime," and a dozen otherclichéd descriptions, yet the guarantee is rightly consideredcritical in persuading a prospect to become a buyer.

Despite its value, however, the guarantee has become asomewhat stale, musty element of advertising that generates littlemore excitement than aspirin instructions. You've seen thestilted wording a million times: "If not utterly delightedwith the performance of your new Gerbil Gym, simply return itwithin 30 days of purchase for a full refund, no questionsasked!" And the guarantee is still often found housed in a boxwith a 50-year-old filigree border.

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