Friday, December 24, 2010

Let friends give their friends free samples - WOM goes GOC

One of the trends predicted for 2011 by is "random acts of kindness". Generation G - for Generosity - is apparently looking for a human touch and 'real' brands, leading companies like Interflora and KLM to randomly shout the bill, send flowers or hold a surprise party. In Australia, Telstra paid the road tax for surprised commuters, and on a more private levels an organisation in Sydney have been handing out kindness cards. I have a bunch in my wallet, and whenever I feel like it I give a random person a gift - a flower, a muffin or such - and give them the card (so they can do the same for someone else).

It´s like charity for people who don´t need it, but a way to expand the world´s total happiness (well, brands have other drivers I assume...) Perfect to satisfy people´s emotional needs in times when depression is epidemic.

Another huge influencer in people´s lives today is 'friends'. We listen to our friends, care for our friends, and wish to have many.

When matching these two important trends, you get the other new trend - brands helping people give random gifts to their friends! It´s like Christmas every day! Word of mouth marketing working smoothly... Sort of like WOM going GOH - gifts of hand? Or rather GOC - gifts of clicks marketing (social media is most times the arena). No need to have a lady handing out samples in the store - let people give to their buddies and a brand´s credibility will rise.

Pizza Hut recently launched a new rewards program called the 'Feed a Friend' campaign, where customers and their Facebook friends can earn free pizzas. Every time a customer places an order on Pizza Hut's website they get two virtual slices of pizza - one for themself and another for a friend on Facebook. When the customer or the friend collects four virtual slices, they will then get one free pizza. I read about a similar campaign by a beer brand, letting friend shout their friends beer on Facebook.

I would say people like free samples in general, because it gives you a chance to try something different - and we are all short of money, aren´t we....? Especially the tight 18-24 year olds who are saving up to travel or buy a house, get mega excited by anything FREE. But by not simply giving from above, like you were Santa, you can tap into the valuable friend-to-friend space. How can your sampling campaign be filtered through the buddy channel?

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