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David Bonner
Executive Creative Director
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
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9 questions to understand your brand's "talkability."

A simple quiz to understand the power of your brand's "talkability."

Written Apr 08, 2008, read 3207 times since then.


At Doe-Anderson, major blue-chip brands ask us to create entire programs based on our proven approach, but this is something a business any size can employ:

  1. Do you know a customer who was IMPRESSED by your business?

  2. Do you know if they TOLD ANYONE about their good experience?

  3. Did that referral also become a NEW CUSTOMER?

  4. HOW MANY TIMES has a satisfied customer recommended your business to someone else?

  5. Thinking about this scenario, HOW MUCH did it cost you to obtain that additional business?

  6. How much would it have cost you to obtain that additional business from TRADITIONAL MARKETING?

  7. Which person is more RELIABLE, REPEAT CUSTOMER? (One based on a personal referral, or one obtained through traditional advertising?)

  8. Do you have a proven PROGRAM IN PLACE to ask your existing customers to recommend you to other businesses?

  9. If you were fortunate enough to have satisfied customers, have you also had any customers who were ever DISSATISFIED with your product or service? And did they tell anyone?

Understand that regardless of a customer's experience with your business (good or bad), they will reliably talk about their experience with someone else.

Your brand's talk value is based on those conversations. It obviously has a very powerful and lasting effect on your business.

Word of mouth is the oldest of all advertising practices, although until just a few years ago, it was something that "just happened." It wasn't really something that agencies like ours developed expertise in.

Until recently, marketing a business of any size was through traditional marketing (typically mass advertising and direct mail). Over the last 10-15 years however, traditional methods have grown less and less attractive to all businesses. Media options have multiplied to staggering levels, while cost of that media has also increased. Unfortunately, because of the scattering and niche segmentation of audiences, the effectiveness of that media has decreased at the same rate. This has happened at the international, national, regional, and even local level.

Today, a handful of innovative marketers are seeing the incredible power of turning the traditional marketing funnel on its head. Instead of starting with awareness and hoping for reliable customers, this counter-intuitive approach starts with a businesses most reliable "brand enthusiasts" and using our proprietary techniques allows them to share that enthusiasm with others.

The real power of word-of-mouth marketing takes place when you create a program to harness the power of the good talk that people will have about your business, and decrease the bad talk.

There are numerous benefits for a brand with great talk value. It's something we call "brand enthusiasm." This is just what it says. It's a marketing phenomenon in which good customers are literally sharing their enthusiasm about the brands they have some sort of relationship with.

Brands like this have more reliable customers. Business typically doesn't spike and drop based on brief marketing bursts like a great Super Bowl ad (although wouldn't we all like a few million to blow there.) Programs based on this phenomenon increase the number of customers through referrals. This creates business growth that is both predictable and steady. Over years, as one person tells two, and they tell two each, and so on, and so on, this growth becomes exponential.

"Brand Enthusiasts" spend more both over the short term, and over their lifetime. Customers who promote your brand are far less likely to be swayed away by competing offers. These customers will often accept ongoing increases in the price of your products and services (price elasticity). 

Major blue-chip brands have discovered this simple phenomenon by working with our agency, but it can also be employed by the smallest of businesses. This insight is free to you.

For larger companies who would like to put a proven program in place, I would be pleased to discuss it with you. Although we happen to work with major national brands, also we also work with significant regional and local brands.

Learn more about the author, David Bonner.

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