Throat Punch! What’s Yours?


“What is the throat punch?” That is the first question I always ask my team as we’re working on a creative brief for a client.

First, you’re likely wondering, “What in the world is a throat punch?” A throat punch is the opening line of your message that instantly grabs the attention of whoever you are trying to reach.

“XYZ Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution open to those who—” ZZZ… This is not a throat punch, it’s a dose of NyQuil™.

But hear me on this: A throat punch is not clickbait either. A throat punch should deliver a stat or ask a question that resonates with your ideal member. (That’s why I’m constantly preaching to identify who your ideal member is!)

Here are two examples of a throat punch:

  1. A simple, declarative statement: “70% of people over age 50 report having sore knees.”
  2. A customer testimonial: “My knee pain vanished when I put these insoles in my shoes.”

If you’re selling products for feet to people over 50, you’ve identified and commiserated with their problem, or you’ve immediately caught their attention with a solution.

Here are a few more examples:

  1. A question aimed at the audience: “Are your knees sore?”
  2. An incomplete sentence: “I first noticed my knees were sore when…”
  3. A metaphor begging for context: “I had a headache behind my kneecap.”

(Note! Number 3 is not my favorite, as it takes some time to decipher, but it can work in certain situations.)

Also, beware: Stay away from product-pushing and adspeak. (Also referred to as “corporate bullshittery,” as defined in a previous blog.) Don’t try to speak to everyone. Speak to your ideal member to empathize with their problem and provide your solution.

Do you need help defining your ideal member or crafting your credit union’s throat punch? We’ve been the credit union marketing partner for hundreds of credit unions over the last 15-plus years. We can help you, too.

Let's Get Started!

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!