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Word-of-Mouth Marketing Really Works!

How passionate customers can help a company grow

by Anne Florenzano  |  3108 views  |  4 comments  |        Rate this now! 

"No," he said, "it's the truth. I have absolutely the most wonderful customers in the world. When they go to restaurants, and they order tea, usually they get such bad tea. So they talk to the waitress, the manager, and tell them about us. And we get a call from the restaurant! Honest. I have great customers, and they just love great tea."

I believed him. After all, why was I there? I drove 30 minutes across town because the restaurant I was at raved about him. And his tea was phenomenal. And look at what I was walking out of the store with: the tea I wanted, plus more tea and a ton of information that this knowledgeable guy had given me. Now I was a fan, too.

I thought about it more on the way home.  Bill probably hadn't implemented a word-of-mouth marketing campaign, but he sure had something worth talking about. In his book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, Andy Sernovitz says that the four rules of word of mouth marketing are:

1.) Be interesting.

2.) Make people happy.

3.) Earn trust and respect.

4.) Make it easy.

And that's exactly what Bill has done. Tea drinkers are extremely happy with his product, he's earned their trust and respect with his knowledge and quality of tea, and it's easy to recommend him to others. His message and brand promise is simple: Great tea!

The TeaSource story could even be called evangelism marketing, which is when companies cultivate customers who believe so strongly in a particular product or service that they freely try to convince others to buy and use it. Look at me -- I'm one of his advocates now, too!

The lesson I've learned from all of this is that the most important thing for my company's future is to get my product right, make it excellent, and give my customers the best that I possibly can. As Bill and TeaSource have proved, it really, really works.

About the Author

Anne Florenzano is a woman entrepreneur blogging about her experiences and observations as she starts her own business. You can read it at

Read more by Anne Florenzano

4 comments so far...

  • Excellent article Anne! You are so right (and so is Andy S.) about word of mouth. The most powerful tool in marketing is still the good old word of mouth. Companies can say (advertise) as much as they want how great they think they are, but only customers can authenticate or sometimes dismiss these stories.
    Long live good old word of mouth!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lorena on 13th May 2008

  • Ann,

    Ok, now I want to get some tea! I love green tea. In fact it is one of my favorite things to drink. It is great to hear about wonderful business owners who truly care about their customers, and take the time to be knowledgeable about what they are selling. And keep their staff educated as well. I will do the same thing if I get great service from a place...I will go where ever I need to do in order to receive that great service AND you bet I will be the first to tell everyone I know about that as well. Thanks for sharing that article.


    Teresa Morrow
    Key Business Partners
    Virtual Assistance and Online Promotion for Coaches, Speakers and Writers

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Teresa Morrow on 24th January 2008

  • It sounds like you had a totally good experience starting from the moment you entered Cafe 318. That waitress would have gotten a big tip from me, normally they aren't that friendly or informative.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mary Jane on 20th January 2008

  • Great article - thanks for posting! I totally agree - word of mouth is huge. And i really believe that it works not just for product companies but for any company!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 18th January 2008