The biggest challenge for startups, and companies in general, is getting their ideas to spread without having to spend large amounts of money buying media to do it. In comes word-of-mouth marketing, buzz marketing, viral marketing and every other way to brand this phenomenon that everyone engages in, in one way or another.
Getting people to talk, about a company, is all about concept and differentiation of products, services and ideas.
For example, you wouldn’t tell won’t tell someone about your utility bills each month. But, when one of those bills doubles, or decreases in half, it becomes much more worthy of conversation.
This is true of both broadcast news and interpersonal news (conversation, e-mail, IM, etc.). Things are worthy of conversation when they are unique, interesting to the messenger, atypical, etc. In other words, not something that has been seen or done many times over.
When is the last time you remarked on laundry detergent to someone? When you did, what part of the buy experience did you talk about? My guess, is that is was not the function that the laundry detergent performs — getting clothes more clean.
Exceeding people’s expectations, through product, price, service or delivery, will put an organization in the best situation to be the subject of a conversation.
By the aforementioned attributes of remarkability I mean:
- Price (Lowest price available)
- Service (Friendlier, Salesperson walks you to the item, more knowledgable, easy return program)
- Product (More Features, Easy to use, synchronizes with other devices, durability)
- Delivery (ahead of schedule, product ships directly vs. in-store purchase)
The key is finding attributes for each product or service that other companies aren’t offering or, better yet, can’t offer. Then, it’s easier to find a group of customers to purchase based on those attributes and discuss it amongst their social partners.
Remember though, it works both ways. Not delivering on people’s expectations is a great way to ensure people talking as well.