Word-of-Mouth Marketing: The satisfaction myth

Rohit Bhargava
Ogilvy Public Relations

Satisfied customers don't often share their experience. Ensuring positive word-of-mouth requires the creation of an extraordinary consumer experience.

If I asked you to rate your level of unhappiness with your current thermostat, what would you say? As long as it is functioning normally, you probably haven't given it much thought. You're satisfied because there isn't a problem. But for a man named Tony Fadell, your satisfaction is his greatest opportunity. Fadell is the former Apple design chief who spearheaded design for the first 18 generations of the iPod, and his latest product may do more than reinvent your relationship with your thermostat.

Several months ago, his new company released a product called the Nest that was immediately dubbed the 'iPod of thermostats'. It was round, wirelessly connected, learned your behaviour, was easy to use, and was described by many as sexy. This new thermostat got people talking. It made them realise how much better a thermostat could be, and it is now selling out online and at home improvement retailers across the United States. Not bad for a new product whose entire target audience was filled with previously 'satisfied' thermostat owners.