Brain food: The slogan doctor - Morgan Stanley: One client at a time

The investment bank's slogan makes no effort to describe its range of activities. It assumes - probably correctly - that potential customers know that already. Instead, the slogan, introduced two years ago as part of a Leo Burnett ad campaign, seeks to differentiate Morgan Stanley from its competitors. It may be one of those big banks, the slogan implies, but this one still treats its clients individually: the American commercials showed Morgan Stanley employees talking emotionally about their customers.

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Over there, I suspect, this is intended to be a reassuring message, following troubled times on Wall Street. The phrase resonates with a plain, steady wisdom that is almost proverbial. Is there not, lurking behind it, the ghost of another powerful adage, suggesting patience and steady progress: 'One day at a time'? In a British context, though, the associations are less positive. 'One client at a time' is more a threat than a promise: wait in an orderly queue and we'll get to you when we're ready. Probably not what Morgan Stanley had in mind.

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