Magazine article Marketing

Word of Mouth and Design Make a Winning Team

Magazine article Marketing

Word of Mouth and Design Make a Winning Team

Article excerpt

When did you last see an Eddie Stobbart van? (If you're in the know, you'll know what I mean.) Word of mouth has spawned a conspiratorial spotters club and enhanced Eddie's reputation -- if I ever need a haulage company, he'll be the first I call.

As consumers continue to reject homogeneity in search of individuality, word of mouth will become an increasingly powerful marketing tool. To adopt via recommendation is to enter a secret society, a sophisticated group in the know. Repeat purchase is generated because these products and services satisfy a part of our psyche -- they hit the spot. Advertising does not have to create an appeal; real emotional benefit and product delivery combine to produce the irresistible.

For a manufacturer launching a new product or service, recommendation via word of mouth is free and effective. While the message is supported by some relatively inexpensive PR activity, the main proportion of the budget can be used to develop the packaging and identity. Memorable design will work at the consumer interface to reinforce the product proposition and take the trial experience beyond the transitory. At its launch the Body Shop combined excellent products with an all-encompassing design vision -- the logo, posters, lorries, shop fittings and packaging all worked together to create a unique retail proposition. The product reputation spread and the rest is history. The Body Shop has never spent a penny on advertising.

Recall is key when marketing relies on word of mouth. Packaging which is imported with the product helps convey a sense of exoticism. …

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