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There are some things people just don’t like talking about — gross things, necessary things, boring things. They might not be the best conversation topics, but that doesn’t mean word of mouth marketing can’t work for them too.

Here’s how three companies are getting people to talk about:

1. Cat litter
2. Death
3. Newsletter services

1. Cat litter

If you stopped strangers on the street to talk to them about cat litter, they probably wouldn’t be amused. But if you asked how you could help them relieve some stress, you’d get some people’s attention. For example, Tidy Cats set up an empty room in a park and asked stressed out strangers to put on headphones, sit in the room, and listen to a guided meditation. When they opened their eyes, they realized they were in a room full of kittens — and (unless you’re allergic to cats) that’s a great way to completely forget your problems. Tidy Cats changed the conversation from one about gross cat litter to cute, stress-relieving kittens. We bet when those people decide they need a kitten in their life, they’ll think of Tidy Cats before other litter brands at the grocery store.

2. Death

Death is uncomfortable. Let’s not talk about it. Instead, let’s talk about trees. People like trees — they represent the opposite of death. Bios Urn created a biodegradable urn that uses cremated ashes of pets and loved ones to plant a seed instead of burying a coffin. They could have gone the traditionally solemn route with their brand. Instead, their blog talks about tree species, remarkable forests, and rare natural phenomenons. They also make it easy to share their message on social media with pre-written tweets and Facebook posts that say: “I want to be a pine” or “I want to be a maple.” They know that talking about living on as a tree is much easier than talking about death.

3. Newsletter services

The best email newsletter services are the ones you don’t have to talk about. They just work, and you don’t have to worry about it. But for great mail services, like MailChimp, that’s a problem. So they do a lot of creative things to inspire word of mouth. One example: Paper Buddy, a downloadable paper doll of MailChimp’s monkey mascot. They also have landscapes for dioramas and outfits to dress him up. It’s not just a way to show MailChimp’s playful personality, it’s a visual word of mouth trigger for an often invisible service.

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