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Brand Essence

Branding: The Power Of Word Of Mouth


Branding: The Power Of Word Of Mouth

In his book, Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders, Adam Morgan indicates that people enthusiastically share information for one of four reasons: (1) bragging rights, (2) product enthusiasm, (3) aspirational identification or (4) news value.

Stories and anecdotes make a point real to people and imbed it in their memories. Brand stories and anecdotes can become legends. As they are told and retold, they can raise the brand to a mythological level. Stories are often told about consumer experiences that far exceed expectations. This could be the result of extraordinary customer service or some other incredible experience with the brand. Going out of your way as an organization to create these experiences will pay huge dividends – word-of-mouth marketing can not be underestimated. Ideally, you create experiences that reinforce your brand’s point of difference.

For instance, a Hallmark card shop owner cared so much for one of her customers that when the customer could not find what she was looking for in the store, the owner drove several miles away to a few other Hallmark stores until she found what the customer was looking for. She hand delivered it to the customer’s house that evening, at no charge, reinforcing Hallmark’s brand essence of “caring shared.” Now that is the stuff of legends. Delivering this type of service, even occasionally, generates significant word-of-mouth brand advocacy.

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