Archive for November, 2009

You may already be following our CEO Jeff on Twitter (http://twitter.com/jeff_stephens), but we’ve also created separate Twitter accounts for CBC and PSST! Get insightful updates on marketing, branding and financial industry developments by following us at: http://twitter.com/creative_brand and http://twitter.com/psst_marketing.

We’ll also let you know when new blogs are posted or if we find cool, relevant stuff online. But don’t worry, we’ll never update on what we had for breakfast or how bad traffic is.


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Crowdsourcing works best when it’s for a cause/brand with enthusiastic supporters (duh). Budget beer label, Pabst Blue Ribbon, happens to be just such a brand. Pabst is not good beer, in fact, it’s terrible. But it’s cheap, and has gained a nation-wide hipster following, responsible for resurrecting the floundering brand: “The beer experienced a sales revival in the early 2000’s after a two decade-long slump, largely due to its increasing popularity among the 20-something demographic in cities such as Portland, Oregon and New York City. As a result, it has become popularly associated with the contemporary hipster counterculture.” (Wikipedia).

Now Pabst Brewing is up for sale, so two agencies pooled their resources and create the site buyabeercompany.com to find people to collectively buy Pabst… for $300 million. Who better to own the brand than the people who love it most? I doubt it will succeed, after all they still need to raise over $294 million. But it’s great word of mouth marketing for Pabst and the two agencies involved, (despite the fact that you have to look really, really hard to find their names on the site, every knows who produced it.)

Buyers can choose from different pledge levels, ranging from “Bottle Membership” at $5.00 to “The BrewMeister” at $250,000. If a person pledges now and the $300 million price is later actually reached, they will be notified and their pledge collected. In addition to getting simple bragging rights, each new Pabst owner will receive a crowdsourced certificate of ownership suitable for framing, and more importantly, enough beer to match their pledge.

So far news of the microsite has been spreading by word of mouth alone, and to my knowledge there is no advertising involved. Social media outlets have been important in the effort, as have other websites and blogs. I hope that the $300 million asking price is reached, because that would be an incredible accomplishment. But even if it isn’t, this is still a good promotion.


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I recently saw these two great buzzworthy microsites passed around on Facebook. Both are not terribly disguised shameless self promotions, but because they’re both über fun, they’ve had no difficulty getting themselves forwarded from friend to friend. What better brand advocate than an eager army of volunteers?

The first is a microsite run by UK based design studio Young. It’s called “Learn Something New Everyday” and presents fun, fascinating (but overall useless) facts daily in bold, colorful hand-drawn graphics. Neat little tidbits such as “David Bowie has a spider species named after him” and “House centipedes prefer crawling on women than men” are so delightfully useless that one can’t help but share them with a friend. A tastefully placed link to the studio behind the magic on the “Learn Something” homepage gives the agency much more traffic as well as positioning it as creative and innovative.

The second viral mirosite is a fun little interactive game called “Zombify Yourself” that promotes the currently-in-theaters flick Zombieland. Through a few easy steps, you can turn yourself into a ghoulish zombie and then oh-so conveniently upload your picture to Facebook or Twitter. With hundreds of new profile pictures resulting every day from the “Zombify Yourself” site, word of mouth continues to spread about this low budget horror film.

Just to fun examples that show you don’t need a lot of money to reach a lot of people!


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Hat tip to our friend David Gerbino for posting about word of mouth marketing in banking, and pointing us to this article specifically. A couple of weeks ago, Mashable.com posted an article called 18 Essential Tools for Every Word-of-Mouth Marketer, written by Clay McDaniel of social media marketing agency Spring Creek Group. Clay did a great job summarizing many truly key tools for word of mouth marketing.

Sure, you know all about Twitter, Facebook and probably Google Alerts, but are you leveraging BackType or Trendrr? Probably not. It’s a big world of social media tools out there, folks! This article is a great way to stay up on what social media tools are at your bank or credit union’s disposal.

One important point to make, here, though (and one that David and I elaborated on in the comments of his post) is that social media and word of mouth marketing are not one in the same. Social media is one of the many forms of word of mouth marketing. Yes, it’s become an absolutely indispensable and primary component of WOM for banks and credit unions, but it’s just one of the possibilities. Don’t forget that a comprehensive bank or credit union word of mouth marketing plan would involve many offline tactics as well as online. For a few important definitions, you may want to check out our word of mouth marketing glossary.


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