I decided to do a quick search online, looking for actual cases of great word-of-mouth rather than just reading about it in the textbook and two specific instances caught my eye:
For the lazy, the article basically tells of KFC’s PR stunt to repair many of the “350 million potlholes” on US roads in 4 US cities and stamping on top of the job with a highly visible KFC logo. Just from that short explanation, the ingenuity of this idea is clear. The press for such a stunt would be off the hook, and if people somehow miss all the media about it they’ll hear about it from people they know, or they’ll see the KFC stamps on the roads themselves. I don’t know how long they’ll keep the logos on the road, but you can imagine it’ll be for a while. One expensive PR exercise in exchange for years of future word of mouth potential. Not only are they fixing a dire US national safety issue, they are doing it during the worst financial crisis since the depression. It’ll cost KFC several small fortunes to pull off, but damn me, they’ll see the return on the back end in a big way.
2. Mighty Fine (this one is about a month and a half old)
This one is pretty in-depth so I don’t need to elaborate on it, but do read it. It’s just add emphasis to your understanding (as it did to my own).
The point is that whether you spend millions on a marketing ploy or not, your company needs to do something special. They need to do something that takes the ordinary – the little aspects of our day-to-day lives we take for the status quo – and make it extraordinary. The idea doesn’t have to be big, it just has to different enough to create buzz, enough to earn the opinion of people who come across it. It just has to be different enough to make it worth talking about.