Word-of-Mouth Marketing is the Offline Equivalent of Social Media

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
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Word-of-mouth marketing to luxury brand buyers friends and family creates buzz.

Word-of-Mouth marketing creates buzz by penetrating the social circles of luxury brand loyalists.

Luxury marketers do not sell products. They sell brand experience.

Take these three brand experiences for instance:

  • A TAG Huer watch is not just a fancy way for telling time; it’s a performance timepiece that exudes courage and the spirit of freedom on the racetrack at the Le Mans.
  • A Ralph Lauren outfit is not just a display of high fashion; it’s glamorous adventure wear that goes yachting on the high seas.
  • A Buick minivan is not just for transporting kids, it’s first class travel seating for rows one through three.


And what’s an experience if not to be shared?

The promise that luxury brands make to their customers is that they will delight in the brand experience. So much so that they will share it with their friends, their family, their neighbors, even their business associates. This in turn creates the bonus of free buzz around the brand.

In fact, positive “buzz” is actually a new metric used to measure brand popularity. “Buzz is the entirety of what consumers are hearing about a brand,” says Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov’s BrandIndex. “What they hear through advertising, news, friends and family helps shape their impressions of brands and whether or not they’ll consider interacting with them.”

Consumers develop perceptions and take actions as influenced by personal conversations and impersonal online interactions — the former being the holy grail of gaining credible, positive viral messaging. Luxury brand marketers strive to become part of that live conversation.

What a gold mine it would be if you could penetrate your brand loyalists’ social circles and capitalize on word-of-mouth endorsements. Presumably they’ve already been exposed to your brand’s buzz and are therefore predisposed to hearing promotions for it.

In the world of big data, it is actually now possible to identify those individuals affiliated with your customers. By passing your customer file through our national consumer database, you can attach the personal contact information of friends, family, neighbors and business associates connected to each of your customers. We call them Wealth Connections and they come with some very insightful demographic data such as net worth, income, age, and home ownership. This will allow you to produce a new unique universe of viable prospects, exponentially build scale, and heighten the buzz.

You can strategically message these customer “connections” via email, online digital display advertising and directly to their home mailboxes. Your customers have already softened the sell. All you must do is bring it on home!


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