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A little competition, whether it’s between your customers or your actual competition, is a great way to start conversations.

Here are three ways to do it:

1. Roulette
2. Rivalries
3. Recognition

1. Roulette

The most remarkable products are the ones with word of mouth built into them — the ones that are more fun with more people. For example, Doritos Roulette is a bag of ordinary Doritos mixed in with a handful of extra spicy ones so that you never know which one you’re about to bite into. People have been sending the company videos of themselves playing Doritos Roulette with friends and photos of “Burn Selfies” when they find the spicy chips.

2. Rivalries

Everyone likes a good food rivalry: American vs. Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit, Pat’s vs. Geno’s cheesesteaks in Philly, New York vs. Chicago-style pizza. These rivalries can be deeply polarizing in their hometowns, but polarization also means loud and proud fans. And for tourists, restaurant rivalry is an attraction — a reason to try both places and tell everyone what they thought.

3. Recognition

Pride is a big word of mouth motivator. When your fans feel like they have ownership of your brand, they’re more likely to tell someone about it, because it’s about them — not you. For example, Domino’s created an app that lets fans customize their own pizza, name it, and even earn a little money for charity when people order it. Customizing a pizza is nothing new, but by putting an entrepreneurial spin on what their customers already do, Domino’s made it much more remarkable.


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  1. Michael Chazin

    All of these examples deal with marketing edibles. What if your products are not edible; you’re not selling food? Makes it a little difficult to extrapolate.

  2. Bridgette Cude

    Hi Michael,

    Whoops! You’re right, these are all about food. That’s our bad.

    Here are some other, non-food-related examples:

    1. Duct Tape’s “Stuck at Prom” Scholarship contest asks teens to create entire prom wardrobes out of Duct Tape.
    2. Lots of towns hold “Firefighters vs Policemen” kickball or softball games to raise money for their public services.
    3. During March Madness, Indianapolis Brackets for Good created a tournament bracket for giving to local charities.

    Hope these give you some ideas!

    -Bridgette of WordofMouth.org


  1. Weekly Reads – Give People a Reason to Care | GroundFloor Media Blog - August 1, 2014

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