Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The In-N-Out Phenomenon, Yes, Word of Mouth

4 Ways In-N-Out makes their customers their #1 marketing channel. In-N-Out just opened their 2nd restaurant in Northern Utah. Yes, for the last four weeks you had to wait up to an hour and a half to get a burger. A marketers dream right, open a store and watch the customers flood in to buy your product. Those marketers must be genius, right?, right, their marketing strategy is simple, take care of your customers and they will tell their friends.

If you think about it, how did you first hear about In-N-Out? It was not a TV commercial or an ad in a magazine. It was when someone returned from a vacation and told you how they had the best burger in California at a place called In-N-Out. The marketing channel, word of mouth, is the most cost-effective marketing channel, not to say, it does come with a price, that of taking care of your customers.

4 ways In-N-Out makes their customers their #1 marketing channel:

1. Take care of your customers: Provide the best product, service, and experience you can, they will tell their friends.

2. Invest in your employees: In-N-Out pays their employees more and trains each employee on the In-N-Out brand, processes, and customer service experience- that of truly taken care of each customer. You got to see it to believe it.

3. Create a team work environment: In-N-Out employees are respectful, kind, and esteem their co-workers. Watching them make burgers and fries is like watching an orchestra. By creating a positive team environment they create a positive experience for their customers and you guessed it, their happy customers tell their friends.

4. Position your product as a novelty: This is the most tricky, people like to talk about their positive product experiences or for this example food experiences. To add fuel to the fire, until lately you had to travel to California to experience In-N-Out. Being a novelty, can be a strong competitive advantage that fuels strong word of mouth success.

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