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3 Triggers of Word of Mouth

Posted By Bryan Eisenberg On September 6, 2007 @ 7:04 am In Customer Experience,Marketing 2.0 / Web 2.0,Word of Mouth | 3 Comments

jibjab this land is your land [1]Seth Godin gets to the heart of the matter after reading about how viral marketing works only 15% of the time [2], according to JupiterResearch. He sums up how to get word of mouth in 4 words: “Just make great stuff [3].”

Our own Holly Buchanan blogged about one company’s viral efforts this week in “Would You Buy a Bra from This Man? [4]Zafu.com [5]‘s campaign started off with a small mailing as part of a test and has started to take off. This ad polarized the audience. Thankfully, Zafu offers a great service that already gets people talking. The video just helped the conversation along.

So how do you make something great?

The Three Word-of-Mouth Triggers:

Recall the last few times you participated in word-of-mouth culture about your experience with a product or service. The product either exceeded your expectations or fell substantially below them. Either way, that word-of-mouth was a result of the product’s performance along with one or a combination of the following triggers:

Architectural: This is a product, package, or store design. When a product or experience is planned or controlled for a specific effect, it’s architectural. Aesthetics and a unique appearance and experience are architectural triggers.

Product examples: iPod, Bose, BMW, “Halo” (video game), RAZR, and Michael Graves’ products

Experience examples: McDonald’s playgrounds, Apple retail stores, Starbucks, and Krispy Kreme stores

Kinetic: This is energy and performance, in the show business sense of the word. Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, which the well-known book When Fish Fly is based on, is the quintessential example of a kinetic trigger. Hipness, selection, fashion, and outstanding product performance are also kinetic triggers.

Product examples: BlackBerry, Tony Hawk (video game), Red Bull, Starbucks’ products, and Airborne

Experience examples: Any slot machine, Cabela’s stores, HDTV, JibJab’s first presidential video, JetBlue, and iTunes software

Generous: A generous trigger occurs when perceived value substantially exceeds the price of a product or service. Extremely large portions in a restaurant, oversized seats on an airplane, and consistently low prices are all generous triggers.

Product examples: Kia, Vonage, Skype, Hyundai, and McDonald’s Happy Meal toys

Experience examples: Great AYCE buffets, Wal-Mart, Steepandcheap.com, and the first-generation iTunes Music store.

(Note: Roy H. Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” was the first to identify and label these triggers in his Monday Morning Memo [6].)

The more remarkable the experience, the stronger the word of mouth. Just barely exceeding expectations isn’t enough. In other words, “Just make great stuff.”


Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/09/06/3-triggers-of-word-of-mouth/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.jibjab.com/originals/this_land

[2] viral marketing works only 15% of the time: http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=66806

[3] Just make great stuff: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/09/yet-another-fro.html

[4] Would You Buy a Bra from This Man?: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/08/31/would-you-buy-a-bra-from-this-man/

[5] Zafu.com: http://www.zafu.com

[6] Monday Morning Memo: http://www.wizardacademy.com/showmemo.asp?ID=270

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