Point of View: Inside out

Molly Flatt

If you start a discussion about how to generate word-of-mouth around brands, odds are that within the first 10 minutes someone will mention apple. Admittedly, if you start a discussion about anything, odds are that within the first 10 minutes someone will mention Apple. But Mr Jobs’ empire is particularly pertinent to the topic of peer-to-peer advocacy.

The gist of the comment is nearly always the same. Generating word-of-mouth via external triggers – events, experiences, assets – is all very well, but that surely the most conversational companies, such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Amazon, dominate social spaces simply because their products or services are awesome? Isn't the only really valuable word-of-mouth an organic outpouring of consumer joy stimulated by the thing itself?

Well, no. Word-of-mouth stemming from direct consumption is often fleeting and periodic. We may get excited about a recently launched bit of technology or the beautiful texture of our new carpet, but that initial possessive high soon wears off. We quickly move on to the next release – we no longer notice that velvety pile. For a sustained landscape of positive WOM, brands must look to other triggers and narratives that will deepen consumer advocacy beyond the first thrill.