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Word of mouth is undoubtedly a powerful force in marketing, but what really makes it work? The new book by Daniel Lemin and Jay Baer, Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth, explores the concept of word of mouth for today’s businesses.

The Cheesecake Factory’s Talk Triggers

What makes certain businesses worthy of chatter comes down to a “talk trigger”. For The Cheesecake Factory, this trigger is the menu. The menu contains 250 items and is something that customers are sure to always talk about. As the menu is ever-changing, customers can expect to find new dishes to enjoy.

Talk triggers are what spur conversations and essentially trigger word of mouth marketing. In order to create talk triggers, businesses have to develop something that is memorable. These triggers have to a bonus of the business that comes with a story.

The talk trigger will directly relate to a company’s core branding value. For The Cheesecake Factory, it’s the fact that they offer “something for everyone”.

Talk Triggers with Doubletree

Doubletree creates their talk triggers by tapping into their brand value of hospitality. The talk trigger is their warm cookies. Customers that choose Doubletree know that they are getting delicious chocolate chip cookies once they check into their rooms.

Businesses looking to create a talk trigger must think of something that is unique enough to become a “memorable differentiator”.

This talking point must be interesting. It should have a backstory worthy of sharing, meaning the trigger must be interesting enough to want to tell their friends and family about the incredible experience they had.

Creating Talk Triggers

Brands hoping to create their own talk triggers should practice the following strategies:

  • Gather Insights: Brands must identify what they are already doing and determine why customers come to them rather than their competitors. How can they represent this as a differentiator?
  • Get Close to Customers: Brands must do their research. They need to understand who is using their service and what they enjoy about it.
  • Create Candidate Talk Triggers: After doing the research, brands should create candidate talk triggers and run them by their staff members.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool that works just as well today as it did in the past. Businesses should keep this guide in mind when trying to tap into word of mouth marketing.