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Newsletter #999: The “Do More” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

A little extra oomph goes a long way. But a big extra oomph goes a longer way. It’s about more than having a great product or a worthy cause. It’s about making people say, “Wow, I can’t wait to tell someone about this.”

Here’s how three different companies are doing more to earn word of mouth:

1. Make it wayyyy better
2. Think about the entire experience
3. Forget what everyone else is doing
4. Check it out: The Refugee Project

1. Make it wayyyy better

Not much innovation happens with coolers. Some hold ice a little longer, some have wheels. So why is everyone talking about Coolest? Because it does everything: It has a blender, a charging dock, a Bluetooth-speaker, a cutting board, a bottle opener, an LED light, and the list goes on. Does everyone need all of this stuff in a cooler? No, but that’s what makes it ridiculous and cool.

The lesson: Incremental improvement is nice, but sometimes it takes a massive upgrade to really start conversations.

Learn more: Kickstarter

2. Think about the entire experience

Dogfish Head craft brewery gets a lot of visitors throughout the year. People come from all over to tour their brewery and meet the people behind the beer. The problem: Dogfish Head’s brewery is located in a town with less than 3,000 people. There’s not much going on. So to give their fans another reason to stick around, they built the Dogfish Inn, a themed motel close to the brewery. They also put together a map of stuff to do in the area, including kayaking, hiking, and biking.

The lesson: Dogfish Head knows that the experience of visiting their brewery is about more than just peeking behind-the-scenes. They make sure their fans go home with a great experience to share — one that’s about more than their beer.

Learn more: Drink Philly

3. Forget what everyone else is doing

We throw away millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables every day. Most of this tossed produce is perfectly fine to eat, it just looks a little ugly. Misshapen, imperfect fruits and vegetables just don’t make the farmer’s cut for distribution. So to call attention to the issue, French supermarket Intermarché bought this produce and created special labels and a display for “The Grotesque Apple,” “The Ridiculous Potato,” “The Disfigured Eggplant,” and other “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” and sold them for 30 percent cheaper.

The lesson: Most supermarkets just accepted this problem as a part of the business. Intermarché stepped up, highlighted it, and created a whole new business around it.

Learn more: Adverblog

4. Check it out: The Refugee Project

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees created a site that maps out an enormous amount of data on refugees across the globe over the last 40 years. The site shows where people were fleeing to and from, and sometimes why they fled. Did you know that the U.S. has had over 4,000 refugees since 1990?

Check it out: The Refugee Project

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