Word of mouth & how others talk about your brand

Word of mouth is still one of the most effective forms of advertising today.

Arkadi Kuhlmann, the founding CEO of ING Direct, is quoted as stating:  “The final verdict on a brand is what people say about that brand when the company is not present!”

Thanks to modern communication, search engines, blogs, and social networks like Twitter, information about a company or business (good and bad) can be spread on a viral scale.  Even when the business is not physically present to address and monitor these comments, people are still talking.

Are you memorable?  People often spread ideas that are easily remembered.  Also, if you have done something unique, noteworthy, controversial, or scandalous, the news spreads like wildfire.  (You can observe this happening with celebrities in the media all the time.)  What kind of a reputation have you established?

Also, keep in mind that, while your advertising may not appear to have any immediate effect on your intended audience, there’s a good chance that it’s being shared with others; it doesn’t have to be exclusively discussed with other members of your target audience.  In this sense, your advertising could have an unanticipated and far-reaching effect.  People will often share information about a product or service with their friends and family, especially if it fills an important demand.  Even if they personally don’t want or need the item, they may refer it to others who might benefit.  As a result, you may still attract other clients and customers in the long run.

No doubt, you can think of many offline and online business models that employ word of mouth to advertise their product.

How are others talking about you even when you aren’t present?  When you are present, are you listening?  Are you responding and interacting?

[ As a side note, here is an informative blog post by Darren Rowse regarding blog branding:  http://www.problogger.net/archives/2009/03/04/how-to-shape-your-blogs-brand/ ]