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A woman holding up a peace sign.
A woman holding up a peace sign.

Lynn Koh

Brand word of mouth: 3 crazy ways to earn it

With the rise of the millennials, everything is about the experience. Why do they (or you, if you’re a millennial) go on a jaunt overseas at the drop of a hat? To learn something and take in new sights. What would be the reason to go to a Gudetama themed restaurant? To be grossed out by seeing something ooze out of that Gudetama bun after you poke it with a chopstick. At the end of the day, what is the experience for if they can’t talk or brag about it with their friends? That’s how positive word of mouth develops, and it can be useful for your brand when it comes to its marketing.

Is it possible then to create something for them to talk about online, to help them spread your brand name via word of mouth? Most certainly. Check out how 3 brands gave their customers something worth talking about through their websites and social media.

Example 1: Warby Parker

In 2012, they put out an annual report as a thank you to their customers. That annual report covered popular glasses in each state, the dietary habits of the Warby Parker team, the most common/popular misspelled keywords searches, how their staff commute to work and so on. That infographic went viral and led to more customers knowing and caring about them. (PS: Check out, a joke website created for April Fool’s day.)

Takeaway: It’s possible to do something fun and engaging for your customers at surprising junctures. Flipside, if you don’t think it’s fun, your customers probably agree.

Example 2: Everlane

After spending over a year designing and refining their first pair of pants, Everlane invited a select number of their customers to try on the prototypes. Taken into consideration for the final release were opinions and comment by them.. Most importantly, these customers got their hands on the item before anyone else. That earned them bragging rights, and the brand received the buzz it wanted.

Takeaway: People love exclusivity. Take advantage of their severe FOMO, that’s coupled with the need to be involved in things before others have a chance to.

Example 3: Sephora

It is a narcissistic society nowadays, and most people want their 5 secs of fame. Sephora knows and understands this very well, reposting beauty or makeup looks created by their fans on Instagram. 9.5 out of 10 times, the number of likes generated by Sephora’s reposts surpasses that of the original.

Beauty and fame junkies constantly hashtag Sephora (#Sephora) for a chance to be featured on the brand’s feed, thereby generating more hype for the brand.

Takeaway: Understand what your customers need and engage them in a way that can build rapport and keep them satisfied.

Eager to roll out your next word-of-mouth campaign? Hold up. Before you start trying to give your customers the experience they deserve, make sure you have your branding down pat. Determine what stories you want to tell, and how to get your customers to tell them for you.