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Would anybody tell a friend? (Andy Sernovitz & Hugh MacLeod challenge you to ask the big question.)

Would anybody tell a friend?

clip_image002It’s an important question.

It’s a question that raises the bar, that makes you better, that changes your company forever.

You only have two choices: Be so special that people want to talk about you — or buy advertising.

Be interesting — or be invisible.

Because being good is different than being worth talking about. Making a good product isn’t good enough anymore. Everyone does that these days.

Change the game.

Push yourself to ask: Are we being remarkable? Is this a purple cow? Are we awesome yet?

Challenge yourself to be worth talking about. Would someone look at your stuff, drop what they are doing, and say, “You’ve got to see this?” Are they inspired to tweet, share, like, friend, forward, or run down the hall and stick it in the face of a co-worker or family member?


Put this on the wall.


This question should be taped to your computer monitor, stuck in your wallet, and hung in your conference room. And thanks to the amazing Hugh MacLeod — one of our brilliant authors speaking at Word of Mouth Supergenius — you can make it look awesome when you post it.

Get a fancy, fine art print by visiting Hugh’s art gallery. Show off your WOM pride by getting a shirt, hat, or poster at our WOM store.

Meet Hugh.

Hugh’s remarkable custom creation is the rally flag for our Word of Mouth Supergenius conference. Meet Hugh (and 30 other amazing marketers) live at July 20 in New York.

Our promise: Inspiring advice you can actually use to get people talking about you. This is a practical, you-can-do-it, blow-your-mind-with-results kind of day. Find out how.

Word of Mouth Marketing Supergenius

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  1. Nora July 4, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Great post! I have found the “tell a friend” rule to be one of the most valuable litmus tests for entrepreneurial ventures. Some entrepreneurs will wait until their product/business is supposedly 100% ready, or at least close, before they start marketing. The result is often a forced and expensive buzz and, potentially, a letdown for the customer (and then the company’s bottom line) when the product does come to market. Conversely, there is the beta testing method, wherein the company releases its product to a very select (Friends and Family) client base who essentially serve as beta testers. Taking their feedback into consideration, the product is tweaked and eventually rereleased. But the beta-testing method also includes the true test of the product’s potential: Are the initial group of users so excited about the product and its capabilities that they tell their friends? Are these initial users’ recommendations and their friends’ reactions strong enough to propel the friends to seek out the product themselves? Do the friends tell a third group of users and so on? This natural buzz creates an exponentially increasing demand for the product. A great example of this, I think, was the launch of Gmail, or even social media gaming platforms such as Mafia Wars or Farmvile. In my view, many creators of products – web based in particular – can save themselves oodles of cash spent on focus groups, advertising, extensive R&D, etc, by simply releasing a beta product to a select market and waiting for the results of the “tell a friend” test.

    On another note, have/do you ever guest-lecture at University of Chicago? If not, you would be interested? I would love to have the Marketing Club bring you in to give a talk on branding. Let me know if you are interested: Thanks and have a great 4th!


  2. Fabio Platero July 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Thanks Andy for another insightful post.

  3. Janet Huey July 5, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    Much of my business is from someone telling a friend; at the end of each transaction if I can work it in smoothly, I say “Please tell a friend”. It is fortunate that I am in the pet industry as people enjoy sharing warm fuzzies.The recession has been a benefit as well to people sharing the money savings my biz provides.
    Janet Huey
    Houston, Tx

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