Good to the last drop

by Becky O'Mara    July 11, 2013

I love hearing great stories surrounding brand names and taglines. They're especially wonderful when known and shared by a customer of the brand.

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Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Nashville for a few days. We stayed in the famed Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, the newer version of the historic Maxwell House Hotel that once stood in downtown Nashville, built in the mid 1800s. While in town, a friend we visited told us the story of the hotel and it’s connection to Maxwell House coffee. Here’s how the story goes:

In 1873, a grocery salesman named Joel Cheek created a blend of coffee and decided to try to sell it. Cheek approached the Maxwell House Hotel, one of the largest and most famous hotels in the south, with a free sample of his coffee. Customers liked it so much, they began asking for it when the hotel switched back to their usual blend after the sample ran out. Maxwell House Hotel became one of his first customers. Realizing he had a great product, he named the blend after the hotel and continued to increase his sales.

In the early 1900s, it’s said that President Theodore Roosevelt was traveling through Tennessee and stayed at the estate of Andrew Jackson, The Hermitage. When he was served a cup of Maxwell House coffee, he purportedly exclaimed, “This coffee is good to the last drop.” Years later the company adopted the tagline and has used it for the last 95 years. It remains in their logo today.

This story has such a smile factor to it. I love the idea of a US President accidentally coming up with the famous tagline of one of the most established brands of coffee in our country.

The factuality of the story has been debated for decades, but whether folklore or fact, it’s a great brand story. All great brands have great stories around their names, taglines, or logos. Something that a customer will connect with, and share with others when given the opportunity. What story are you telling around your brand?

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