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  • Writer's picturePatrick Drenkelforth

Word of Mouth Marketing Examples

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools that your company can have in its marketing toolbox. This is because 92 percent of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising.

While the power of word-of-mouth marketing is undeniable, it’s not something that businesses can just will into existence. It’s a process that needs to be nurtured.

The following are nine examples of companies that have successfully built loyal fan bases through WOMM strategies…

Word of Mouth Marketing Examples

The key to any successful word of mouth marketing campaign is allowing your customers an opportunity to gain engagement. This can be done by creating an environment that allows their voices to be heard. You do this through social media marketing tactics and content sharing efforts.

Once you are able to create an environment where your happy customers feel comfortable with speaking up, word of mouth marketing is sure to follow..

Here are nine examples of effective Word of Mouth Marketing that you can use to increase visibility for your brand or business.

1 Casper

The mattress company Casper has been growing tremendously since its founding in 2014, in part because of its referral program. After signing up for the program, members get a discount code that they can share with friends or family members. If a friend uses the code and purchases a Casper mattress, both parties receive $50 in credit. The more friends that you refer, the more discounts you get..

This customer-focused approach has clicked with consumers who prefer testing a product’s comfort and durability. Casper also ran aggressive social media campaigns sharing customer reviews, helping it acquire more than one million customers in eight countries.

Casper’s referral program has been successful because it’s simple for consumers to use and offers significant rewards for both parties involved. These factors make it an effective word of mouth marketing example.

2 Dropbox

A great example of the success of word-of-mouth marketing is Dropbox. Though this company has built a reputation as a cloud storage and file sharing service, it originally started out as an idea for a photo sharing app.

Drew Houston, Dropbox’s founder, had been trying to build a mass audience for his app but was finding little success. He was able to get some big media companies to write about his service, but the traffic wasn’t translating into signups.

He decided to take a different approach by giving away free space to people who signed up and those who referred others.

This referral program proved so successful that Dropbox saw a 60% increase in its growth rate within just one day. The company went from 100,000 users to over 2 million in just 9 months.

Dropbox’s referral program was so successful that investors were quick to take notice. Within 15 months of the referral program launch, the company raised $7 million from Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners.

3 Coca-Cola

The Share a Coke campaign was extremely successful in turning Coca Cola into the most talked about brand online. It also increased sales by 2% which is significant considering it was running during the summer when sales are relatively stagnant.

This campaign was successful because it resonated with people’s need to connect with other individuals and share their experiences. People liked seeing their name on the bottle and receiving a gift that had special meaning for them.

Coca-Cola’s campaign also got people to start sharing coke with others, something they weren’t used to doing before the campaign. The campaign used its success to get consumers to start talking about Coke again in a positive way and share their good experiences of the drink with friends and family.

4 Superhuman

Superhuman is a tech startup whose email app is designed to give users a fast inbox experience. The product is aimed at so-called email power users — people who receive and respond to hundreds of emails each day — and it costs $30 a month to use.

Superhuman has acquired thousands of paying customers through word of mouth, not through traditional advertising or an enterprise sales team.

How? For starters, it’s an invite-only app, and many of its first users were decision-makers and high-powered executives. Superhuman also requires a pre-qualification process to join, and each new user goes through a personal onboarding session with someone from the company.

Superhuman also accelerated the buzz through simple-but-effective design features built into the product itself: A user experiences a moment every time they send an email and see the “sent via Superhuman” link at the bottom, or use the shortcut keystroke to send a referral email, creating positive buzz about Superhuman, which leads to more people signing up for the app.

Interestingly enough, Superhuman has been able to acquire new customers at roughly zero cost through this strategy!

5 Potbelly

Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a restaurant chain founded in Chicago, has a strong presence in the Midwest. But because other parts of the country are less familiar with the brand, the company uses word-of-mouth marketing to generate awareness when it expands into new regions.

When Potbelly opened its first stores in Austin, Texas, the company got hold of a mailing list of people who had moved to Austin from Chicago. Potbelly sent each of them a hand-signed letter in the mail, inviting them to introduce their friends to a “taste of home.” Each letter included tickets for 10 free sandwiches.

By doing this, Andy Sernovitz wrote in his book “Word of Mouth Marketing”, “You turn a customer into a talker — a talker who you’ve helped look cool for buying lunch for the whole crew.” He continued, “Those 10 tickets are a multiplier, something that turns a single word-of-mouth recommendation into many recommendations.”

The company also used word-of-mouth marketing to build buzz for its new stores in Austin. It hired a local “potbelly ambassador” who was tasked with handing out samples, hosting community events and attracting crowds at local festivals.

By taking these steps, Potbelly built a base of evangelists who spread the word to their friends and family members.

6 Fiskars

In 2006, Fiskars, the company that makes gardening tools and crafting supplies, was losing market share within the craft community. To change that, it tapped creative agency Brains on Fire to build an ambassador program.

The Orange Ambassador Program lets people apply to be brand ambassadors for Fiskars. They’re given products, support, and guidance from the company in exchange for creating content for Fiskars’ website, social media accounts and blog. These ambassadors also attended trade shows, taught workshops and gave presentations in their local communities.

The outcome? The Fiskateers, a group of more than 10,000 ambassadors who have generated over 1 million pieces of user-generated content for the brand. They’re also responsible for an increase in retail sales and online brand mentions.

Now, Fiskars is a well-respected brand within the craft community and has a trustworthy reputation among its customers.

7 Toms

TOMS is the classic example of a company that has mastered word-of-mouth marketing. Since 2006, has been a leader in word of mouth marketing with its powerful storytelling and social mission.

TOMS is known for its social mission, which includes donating a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased. The company has been so successful that it’s inspired other brands like Warby Parker and Bombas to use the same model (called “buy one give one").

TOMS has also mastered sharing personal stories through their blog, Instagram and email campaigns. For example, TOMS provides a platform for customers to share why they give back by creating content with hashtags like

8 Jeep

Several times a year, Jeep invites Jeep owners to participate in off-roading expeditions called Jeep Jamborees. These events are part of a tradition that dates back to 1953, in which participants gather in their decked-out SUVs and voyage across rugged terrain for a few days.

Hardly anyone would bother telling a friend or family member about a cool Jeep commercial or billboard they saw. But a weekend off-roading through the Ozarks in your 4x4 with fellow Jeep enthusiasts? You’re going to at least post about it on Instagram, or mention it to a coworker in the break room.

JEEP’s brand is all about freedom, adventure and rugged individualism. What better way to reinforce that than by inviting owners to head out into nature and go on an off-the-beaten path adventure together?

9 Pabst Blue Ribbon

For more than two decades, by the early 2000s, sales for the American beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon had been in decline. The company wanted to find a way to improve sales, but it didn’t want to overspend on traditional advertising, so it hired Fizz, a marketing firm, to turn things around.

Fizz held focus groups and interviews with people in the craft beer community to determine what they liked about PBR. Those beer lovers said they appreciated that the brand was a cheap and unpretentious alternative to other beers on the market. They also said they liked that it was perceived as a working-class drink and that it was not heavily marketed, which made it seem more authentic than other brands.

Armed with those findings, Fizz set out to create a marketing campaign that would resonate with PBR’s existing fan base. Fizz decided to focus on underground music venues, art galleries and dive bars, where people are often on tight budgets but still want to participate in popular culture. The company could also target these places without spending a lot of money because these businesses tended to be small and locally owned.

Fizz created a grassroots marketing campaign called “Pabst Blue Ribbon Presents” that sponsored indie music events around the country. The events were free to attend, but attendees were encouraged to buy PBR at the bar. As word spread about how awesome the concerts were, more people attended them, and PBR sales began to increase. Fizz kept the campaign going for two years, after which time PBR’s sales had risen.

10 Tesla

There are generally three ways a new customer could learn about Tesla and its products: 1)Elon’s/Tesla goodwill, 2) customers’ own research, or 3) through an existing Tesla owner. Tesla relies heavily on current owners spreading the word and converting people they know into new electric car owners.

For purposes of this illustration, information is equal to a virus and the main variables are the number of people that want to buy a car in that period of time within a target price range or TCO (susceptible individuals), the number of owners at the time (infected people), and the average number of people that an owner would convert in that period of time (contagion).

Recently, Tom Randall from Bloomberg released the findings of a study involving 5,000 Model 3 owners. According to the study’s results, 99% of Model 3 owners are pretty much satisfied with the vehicle, and they are willing to recommend the electric car to friends and family. A number of assumptions could be drawn from these results, as per the investor.

Tesla Giga Shanghai’s Vice President of External Affairs Grace Tao shared the results of a rather interesting survey , which showed that Elon Musk’s word-of-mouth marketing strategy is effective in China, too. Nearly 1,000 car owners participated in the survey, and over 90% of the participants stated they would recommend buying a Tesla to their friends.

Bottom line

In this guide, we’ve highlighted some of the many benefits of word of mouth marketing, as well as suggested a few steps you can take to implement this strategy in your own business. We have also provided a number of examples of companies that have successfully used word of mouth marketing to grow their businesses.

The above examples of word-of-mouth marketing provide good examples of the different approaches that can be utilised to create conversations between users.

¿Looking for an app to make WOM? Download M2M, make money with WOM and spread the word to your family and friends.

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