A company’s marketing efforts are pivotal in creating and maintaining a customer base that are loyal to ensure existing custom keep coming back. The ultimate aim for any brand is for these loyalties to be passed on from an existing customer to their network, therefore expanding their customer base without spending big bucks on advertising space. Known as ‘Word of Mouth’ Marketing, the effectiveness of it has seen a huge increase with the digital age and social media, allowing recommendations to reach 100’s of people simply by tweeting a picture of a coffee cup. It has been shown that a huge 81% of US consumers are influenced by friend’s social media posts.
Companies have managed to hone tactics of how to use word of mouth most effectively. Here are some of the top ways companies have implemented word of mouth.
In 1971 Starbucks opened its first coffee shop at Pike Place Market in Seattle. From the onset the brand always had an ethos of providing the best coffee and coffee beans for their customers, while also creating a community spirit within the stores. Throughout their growth this is something that they try to continue both in the stores and, since the breakout of a digital community online, outside of the stores as well. The investment in more modern digital marketing tactics has allowed the Starbucks brand to expand their customer base from online word of mouth recommendations through social media channels.
Through effective use of social media including celebrity product placement BooTea has expanded from being a local UK business based in Yorkshire to shipping globally. The company uses the social media channels to both promote the weight loss effects that customers have seen after using the product. This tactic led to sharing of the brands name as well as the positive effects.
Red Bull over the last decade has seen a large shift in their marketing focus away from the traditional forms. Investment has been placed into word of mouth campaigns built around being involved in organizing extreme sports events and other events in order to get people talking about the brand. The company have stared programs which mark innovations in the way a company can promote itself, including hosting events
The ALS Association is a charity which sets out to raise awareness and the funding of research to look for a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. Throughout the summer the ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ featured on everyone’s Facebook newsfeed with friends challenging each other to pour a bucket of iced water on themselves. This use of social media helped the charity and their cause to be spread worldwide, raising $115 million as a direct result of the video campaign and its donations.
Random House are one of the largest book publishers in the world. Despite this, it was felt that younger readers of the books weren’t engaged enough with new material and authors. To combat this, the company created ‘Random Buzzers’; a social platform for readers to connect with the publishers and authors. Giving the readers a number of benefits to engaging through the platform brought more than 60,000 members as well as an estimated additional 90,000 reached offline.
Seen massive amounts of growth through completely changing what it was to get a taxi. By creating an experience which addressed a number of issues, such as allowing payment using card and phone hailing, Uber ensured that the name would spread through word of mouth with their customer service providing customer service with the ‘wow’ factor.
When initially starting out, new clothing brand Superdry decided to concentrate its marketing time to promote the company name through word of mouth as opposed to advertising. In doing so the brand managed to attract fans such as David Beckham and Nicole Scherzinger who were seen wearing the clothing brand in public. This helped fuel the company’s growth through providing free advertising to a large audience.
An example of an app that has grown mostly through word of mouth because of the interest generated in the service that it provides. Shazam now monetizes its process through displaying adds as well as teaming up with television advertisement campaigns to allow the user to attain more information instantly on their phone. The company relies on innovation and novel ways to use the product in order to keep people talking about them.
Air BNB ensures word of mouth promotion through monitored guidelines and standards in place for those letting their space, ensuring the customer has the positive experience that they expect from a holiday. Everybody likes to talk about their holiday to friends and family when coming back home, providing good customer service from Air BNB ensures the company are spoken about in a positive way.
Seraphine, the maternity clothing brand, have made full use of celebrity endorsements to gain free promotion in media. The company went from strength to strength after Kate Middleton wore the brand during her first pregnancy. This is something which ensured not only notoriety with the public, but also with celebrities leading to the likes of Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani to wear Seraphine clothing.