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The ingredients of a buzzworthy company

This is a post from our WordofMouth.org project. Check it out for more great word of mouth marketing tips like this every day.

Building a buzzworthy company is a word of mouth marketer’s ultimate goal. When you bake it into your brand and get everyone in the company thinking about how to get people talking, you can become that remarkable company people want to share with their friends.

Here are the key ingredients:

1. Make great products
2. Be different
3. Create amazing experiences
4. Have a personality

1. Make great products

All of the advice, tips, and training we offer come with the assumption that you’re making fantastic products and delivering incredible service. No amount of genius marketing can overcome crappy stuff. If what you’re selling simply sucks, that conversation will always be louder than any positive ones you’re able to start. But this is also why word of mouth is so special: The good guys win and the bad guys don’t.

2. Be different

We share the topics that are surprising, special, and one-of-a-kind. Just like the classic marketing concept of “positioning” — where you try to own a unique position in the customer’s mind — you need to own a unique place in the customer’s conversation. You do this by doing things differently. It leads to the ultimate conversation starter: “Have you heard about ______?” Go to any Trader Joe’s, for example, and you’ll see an entire store devoted to products you can’t find anywhere else. They’re weird and fascinating, and they earn a whole bunch of referrals for it.

3. Create amazing experiences

Remarkable experiences create lots of conversations. At REI, you can climb a rock wall. The Mall of America’s roller coaster helps them attract 40 million people each year. Chicago’s Delaware Dental asks about your favorite music on their patient forms and then plays it for you. Great experiences that get people talking don’t have to be related to your products and services. And sometimes, the more they’re unrelated, the more it shows just how interesting you are.

4. Have a personality

The more personality you have, the more likely you are to start conversations. We could write entire newsletters each week dedicated to the funny, personable, and touching things Google, Southwest, and IKEA do. And all that personality adds up — these brands are among the most loved and talked about (and most successful) in the world. Be yourself, be fun, be personable, be buzzworthy.

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