Monday, June 22, 2009

Let Your Customers Spread Visual Buzz

A few years ago, I learned about a Nike-sponsored marathon in San Francisco to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But I didn’t see it on TV. I didn’t read about it in the paper. How did I know about it? Because a couple of days after the race, my friend Terry showed me a blue box with the Tiffany logo. Inside there was a silver necklace (like this one) with a figure of a woman running. The Nike Swoosh and the year ’05 were engraved on the charm. Terry went on to tell me that she ran a half marathon and that at the end of the run, men in tuxedos were handing the boxes to each woman who crossed the finish line. The foundation of this snippet of buzz was the experience (run a marathon) with something to talk about (men in tuxedos at a sporting event) and a gorgeous memento (Tiffany jewelry). Would Terry have told me about the event without the reminder? Probably. Would have she mentioned Nike’s involvement? Much less likely. This necklace made sure that the brand was part of the conversation. A Netflix red envelope you notice on the street, or a can of Soup-at-Hand at the office, or the New York Times in front of your neighbor's door, are all examples for conversation starters. Are you giving your customers an opportunity to create visual buzz?

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