How to people learn about brands? Read more.
A lot of companies and brands will willingly sing the same song as Jack Morton’s New Realities 2012 research: word-of-mouth (WOM) is the most powerful form of advertising. But is your brand really serious about incentivizing WOM among your customer base? Fab.com, a daily deals site focused on design, has taken an aggressive approach showing that it is deathly — dollars and cents — serious about its peer-to-peer recommendation engine.
Emerging somewhere in between is a more fluid, less black and white way of asking consumers to spread the word. We’re not talking about a pay-per-review program that’s going to lead to a Belkin-like horror story. Fab.com is part of a new crop of sites that are finding ways to reward customers for embracing a broader social layer over their entire shopping (and yes, buying) experience. In other words, it’s a new crop of brands that have made the decision to invest in its consumers’ brand experiences, instead of spending on pushy messaging that consumers tune out.
In a world when sites like Fab.com are willing to pay up in a big way to get consumers talking, marketers have to start asking themselves some big questions. How serious is your brand about making its WOM engine work harder for your marketing objectives? How will you create a brand experience worth talking about?
There’s a fantastic piece in Ad Age by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy called “The Human Element”. My favorite point comes from a chart that contrasts “the old way” of social strategy with “the winning way”: in their POV, “old” is trying to “go viral,” and “winning” is “give consumers something to talk about”.
Give consumers something to talk about.
I couldn’t agree more. So much of the clutter and noise of our time is brands and people just going for viral. The best and most engaging content, conversations and (in Garfield and Levy’s view) relationships come when brands really try to give people something to talk about.
Giving people something to talk about is a hallmark of the best experience brands.
It’s also a point that’s driven home in new “2012 New Realities” research Jack will release on 25 January that comes from talking to consumers in the US, Brazil and China. Watch this space for more!
Later on today I’m speaking at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit in Las Vegas (wish me luck) but here are a few choice tidbits consumed so far:
It’s great to read in Ad Age about the success of Beats by Dr. Dre, the high-end headphone line, following a marketing strategy bringing a great product to consumers through influencers and word of mouth (think celebrities seen wearing them and all the cool kids falling in line behind them).
Personally, having purchased what feels like a thousand pairs of poorly-made ear buds that last a month and deliver a poor audio experience, I’m a fan.