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December 14, 2007
Show, not tell Part 2
OK, so what if your product isn't as sexy as the iPhone? How do you build word of mouth for something like, say, toilet paper?
As Ben pointed out earlier, by letting people experience your product. Show, not tell. Virginia reports that Charmin has created a program in New York City by offering free restrooms in Times Square. That part of town is laden with "no public restroom" signs, so Charmin has solved one need. The second, of course, is Charmin's TP.
So even though the product isn't sexy or flashy, this is a solid marketing investment, despite a contrived, Flash-based website that's based on telling, not showing. Experiential marketing programs like this can inspire people to spread buzz doing the "Charmin dance" or other goofy fun.
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What if your product isn't even a product but a service? What if you need to buy the service in order to experience it (for exmaple, auto insurance or a dentist's clinic)?
How do you create buzz for situations like this?
There are ways to experience a service before buying it. It just takes a little more creativity.
For example, an agent selling insurance could offer free seminars on how to maintain your car so the cost of ownership is lower. Or a dentist's office could sponsor a coat drive in the winter to bring people into the office to meet the staff and the dentists.
I read recently about brand butlers - brands doing that extra something to ease people's pain. This seems to be a case of a good brand butler.