Daring word of mouth

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As a marketer, you have a choice: Go with what’s safe and get lost in the noise, or do something daring and start conversations. We hope you’ll pick the more remarkable route by daring to surprise people, showing generosity, and being yourself.

Here are three ways to do it:

1. Dare people to do something crazy
2. Dare to support your employees
3. Dare to stick to your brand

1. Dare people to do something crazy

To show off their new waterproof Galaxy phones, Samsung dared people to try it out by taking an underwater selfie in a frigid lake. Those who accepted the challenge got to keep the phone — and had a great story to tell their friends. That’s a remarkable way to demonstrate the phone’s features, but more importantly, it helped create talkers. A selfie challenge like this literally turns the focus around from the product to the customer. And the more you give your customers the spotlight, the more willing they are to spread the word.

2. Dare to support your employees

When agency Ignite Social lost a major client and had to lay off 50 of their employees, they didn’t just leave them with a recommendation letter. They put a guarantee behind the now former employees: They’ll pay $5,000 to any business who hires a laid-off Ignite Social employee if they have to fire them within 90 days. That’s a daring vote of confidence to help these new jobseekers. The big idea: Bad things happen to good people and good companies, but there’s always an opportunity to do something meaningful and remarkable in those moments.

3. Dare to stick to your brand

According to the founders of Amazon Advertising, an agency in San Fransisco, they came up with their name when gigantic, million-dollar retailer Amazon was just a small, online bookseller. “We just didn’t know they were going to take over the entire world,” Amazon Advertising co-founder Lynda Pearson tells Adweek. But instead of changing their name, they embraced it with The Mistaken Identity Project. They asked non-famous people with famous names like David Letterman, Alice Cooper, and Justin Bieber to share their experiences of mistaken identity and encouraged other people with famous names to do the same. By getting other people to empathize with them, Amazon Advertising turned their potentially negative situation into a humanizing, word of mouth opportunity.

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