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Word of Mouth Brand Story

How would you rate the ‘word of mouth’ brand stories your customers tell about you? And are they driving as much business to your door as you’d like? Here’s why I ask.

A lesson on viral brand story power from Carina and Pingo

My missus and I were delighted to visit Copenhagen for the first time recently and on our flight over there I got chatting with a fellow passenger from Denmark.

“So, what are the must do things when visiting your city?” I asked.

“Well don’t bother with the little mermaid statue for starters” she said,  It is ‘so’ little and a complete waste of time!

But, do take a canal boat tour to really see the city and, if you do nothing else,  try our world famous sandwiches. They’re the best!”

This surprised me and in my head I was thinking: ‘So, not Danish bacon, beer or pastries…She said sandwiches. Who brags about sandwiches?’

Regardless and with these ideas planted in my head, I  remembered my friend’s advice when in tourist mode the next day. And while booking a canal boat tour, I asked our guide for tips on where to go for lunch.

“There’s only one choice”, said Andrew. You’ve simply got to have sandwiches in the Chill-ee Cafe around the corner. I’m their number one fan.

“Me too”, echoed his pal Emma. “I love that place. Everyone does here. Everything is so fresh”

Moments later we entered a tiny but bright, warm and inviting café filled with an amazing aroma from freshly baked bread.

“That looks fantastic” I said, pointing at a pile of perfectly formed flat breads. “What kind of bread is that?”

“To be honest, I have no idea” admitted a grinning Carina, one of the café owners.

“That’s true” agreed her partner Pingo. “She never does. She just bakes whatever feels right to her every morning. No recipes, just inspiration. And whatever she makes, it’s always with love. And that’s true for every sandwich she makes too.”

Ordinarily I would find an exchange like this to be corny, but I didn’t this time around – because I could hear and see he meant every word he said. And boy was Pingo right.

As soon as my missus took a first bite from her roasted veggie sandwich she looked at me and gushed :

“OMG. Wait until you try this. That is the best EVER sandwich!”

And it was. I was equally smitten. This wasn’t just a sandwich, it was an experience.

All of a sudden and in that moment, Mindy and I felt part of a select club who had ‘discovered’ a ‘holy grail’, in the moment, memorable human experience to be savoured.

In fact, we were so enamoured by our hosts Carina and Pingo, we didn’t want to leave!

But when we did, we made it our business to tell  10+ of our fellow tourists on our boat tour that they needed to discover this amazing place too. And now I’m telling you as well (and here’s a link worth bookmarking should your travels ever take you to Copenhagen – where you’ll even find a fun little testimonial video I made for them on the spot).

Why word of mouth brand stories are irresistible online & offline

The reason I share this little story about Carina creating food made with love (and I’d never heard that phrase before) is there’s a lesson in this for all speakers and marketers. It begs a few important questions:

What stories are you known for? And are these stories that show you in a good light and are they interesting enough that your audiences will be minded to share them, time and again?

And if the answer to the latter is yes, great – this has the potential to positively impact just how ‘referral worthy’ you are. And this matters online and offline.

As one of my favourite authors on marketing Mark Schaefer explained in an interview with Michael Stelzner on his excellent Social Media Marketing podcast, people typically share stories/content socially for one of 3 reasons

  1. As an act of generosity or kindness to inform or help people.
  2. As an expression of their own identity.
  3. Because they love the brand so much, they share the content no matter what it is, because it’s about the emotional connection. (This reason has nothing to do with content and everything to do with the person or the brand that wrote it.)

I couldn’t put it better myself.

If your brand stories are built on positive emotional experiences, they’re even a little out of the ordinary and they’re personally meaningful, chances are folks will be far more minded to share them –  which will reflect well on you and those who share too.

And that’s a win-win proposition for all.

Your turn

What’s a favourite customer experience you had in recent times that inspired you to tell this positive story to many?