Power of the spoken word

Power of the spoken word

Power of the spoken word

How to use word of mouth to grow your brand 


Customer recommendations – possibly the most powerful tool in marketing. Praise from an existing customer to a potential one? Job done! An enormous 92% of customers trust a recommendation from family or friends more than any other type of advertising. 92%! That’s huge. 

Known in the industry as WOMM, (word of mouth marketing), it is all about influencing discussion about your brand and/or product.  

However, word of mouth is completely organic, so how can you influence what people are saying about you?  

In this helpful article we’ll guide you on the best ways to use WOMM to increase your sales and brand reputation.  

What does the data say on WOMM? 

All too often businesses neglect their existing customers and instead focus on gaining new customers. “Big mistake. Huge.” (said Julia Roberts).  Existing customers who have a great experience will share this with friends. (beware – they’ll also share negative experiences with friends).  These customer recommendations can lead to increased traffic and sales for your brand.  Need further convincing? Have a look at these stats; 

  • Millennials rank WOM as the No.1 influence on their buying decisions (Radius Global) 

  • We said it earlier, we’ll say it again – 92% of customers believe recommendations from their family and friends (Neilsen) 

  • 72% of consumers say that seeing a positive review increases their trust in a business 


As ever with marketing, it boils down to trust.  Potential customers want to trust a brand and know that brand holds the same values as them. How better to convince new customers that you’re a trustworthy brand than through your existing customers?  And if you reward those existing customers – all the better.  Implementing a referral programme to reward those that recommend you will further build trust and loyalty.  Think exclusive discounts or previews. Consumers love to be made to feel special. They then share that reward and experience with others who want to be a part of it.  Exclusivity equals engagement. 

However, most of us don’t readily hand out positive reviews without some kind of prompt or reward. In fact, consumers are far more likely to leave a negative review if they were unhappy with a brand than leave a positive review if they were satisfied with the service. Therefore, rewarding those existing customers with discount codes, extra benefits or any other prompt you can think of is one of the surest ways of getting more positive reviews. 

User-generated content 

UGC arrived when users of social media realised they could make an impression with a brand. It’s any image, video, text posted by your customers that relates back to your product.  

By sharing the social media posts of your customers, you create engagement and brand loyalty. For new customers it’s also a lot more believable if existing customers are recommending your business (hence the value of influencers). 

Social media makes digital WOM marketing much easier, but WOMM can happen both on and off the web. 

Creating worthy WOMM campaigns: Examples and tips  

Giving consumers a great buying experience should always be a top priority. However, to take it to the next level you need to create and craft the process so it’s unique to your brand. Think about what your business represents, what your brand values are and the story you want to tell. For inspiration look at how the big brands do it.  

Take fashion brand Kenzo. 2021 saw them partner with the World Wide Fund for Nature. The WWF is the world’s leading independent conservation organisation, and the luxury label has committed to donating a portion of sales from its capsule collection to the charity. Additionally, they are supporting the WWF in their efforts to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022 (which is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese zodiac calendar). This is a great example of a highly regarded brand highlighting the work of a global charity to its customers as well as aligning themselves with many customers values.  

Another example is Zappos. Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn described the company as a service company that happen to sell shoes.  Zappos went out of its way to surprise and delight customers – sending flowers?to a customer and upgraded them to VIP status after it heard their feet were injured through medical treatment.?Now that’s customer service.  

Stellar service is embedded in every interaction a consumer has with the Zappos brand—even when returning an item. If someone doesn’t like the shoes they’ve purchased, they can return them free of charge. Those are service levels which are promoted via WOM and probably why Amazon paid £1.2bn for the company.  

Focussing on more than just providing quality products can do wonders for your brand. Paying attention to additional services that people will readily talk about such as consumer perks, positive actions taken by the brand, charitable involvements and excellent customer service will all generate a WOMM snowball effect. 

Word of mouth marketing – what should I do next? 

Start with the fundamentals. Think about how you want your brand to be perceived. Develop your own word-of-mouth strategy to trigger positive conversations about your brand, expand your potential customer base and increase revenue. 

Word of mouth advertising and marketing can be monumentally effective, but you need to get it right. WOMM can be damaging if it goes wrong so make sure you nail your customer service. 

Here at Platinum HQ, we’ve always been big believers in WOMM. We’ve been in business for 20 years and fortunate enough to have grown through WOMM. We can’t thank our clients enough for that.  

But we’ve worked incredibly hard to ensure that each and every client has a great experience with us – whether it’s an entire brand refresh, an animation project or design and print job. We’ll always go that extra mile to make sure your interaction with us is positive and enjoyable and we believe this has been the core success of our WOMM strategy.  

Feel free to share the Platinum love with your friends, family and colleagues, and if you’d like us to help you work on any kind of online or offline campaign, we’d be delighted to oblige!