Word Of Mouth and Scraps of Conversation

Batter Scraps should be free –
Andy Capp

Everyone is now talking about word-of-mouth marketing. Many businesses are trying to figure out how they can best use this to their advantage. Jakob Nielsen has pointed out the difficulties of getting More Users To Contribute. In general only a tiny fraction of people do get involved and the majority are lurkers.

As Suw Charman suggests, given the ease of communicating on the Internet, it would be a real problem if too many people got involved. The challenge is to strike the right balance and generate messages that will circulate. Lois Kelly has suggested that stories are the ideal vehicle.

Today’s Guardian has such a story that will certainly generate a good deal of ongoing word-of-mouth commentary . It combines three of the themes that she thinks important:

  • David vs. Goliath.
  • Personalities and personal stories.
  • Glitz and glam.

The headline is The latest gastro dish? Batter scraps go ? la carte

In the ubiquitous fish and chip shops in the UK, it has always been the custom to give away for free odd scraps of fish covered in batter with fish and chip meals or even with a purchase of chips. When you remember that the first chippie opened in Mossley, Lancashire, in 1863, you can see that we are dealing with a long tradition here. Now a restaurant in Leeds is intending to charge for these scraps.

Already the word-of-mouth process has started with a vengeance. It’s clearly the kind of story that will circulate for some time to come. If Andy Capp were still around, he undoubtedly would have taken up the cudgels in his blog.

Related: Engaging Your Prospect’s Interest