WOM Tip #109: Teach your talkers the story you want them to share

You can’t control conversations about your brand. People are going to say whatever they want about you.

But you can influence the conversation. If you supply your talkers with a great story that’s worth sharing, they’ll spread it. Maybe not exactly like you wrote it — but that’s OK. It’ll still be a lot better than if you gave them nothing.

Eric Dodds over at Brains On Fire has a great story on this, and it’s about his new toaster, no less.

When he bought the gadget, he was surprised to find it accompanied by an incredibly detailed history lesson on its origins and its role in American history. (Yeah, a toaster!)

From his post:

I don’t know about you, but owning a piece of flimsy tin isn’t very inspiring. Owning a “precious piece of American history?” Now that’s pretty cool.

Of course, I hopped online to learn more, and I was shocked at how much the brand provided — when they say history, they mean it. It wasn’t just a marketing or branding gimmick. (You can read about the company’s namesake and his invention of this nifty toaster, as well as other genuine, pioneer-used products on their website.)

Needless to say, knowing the story behind our little stovetop wonder added a heckuva lot more value to it, and created a prime opportunity for word of mouth.

Case in point: a few days after the toaster arrived, a several friends came over to the house. One of them spied the contraption sitting on our stove and asked me, “What the heck is that thing?”

“Oh man,” I said, “Did you know that this device is what the pioneers of the west used to toast their bread over a campfire?”

Read Eric’s full post.


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  1. ryan knight

    This is a great post. I never really thought of telling the story of our company.

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