In an Advertising Age article written by Steve Knox, CEO of Tremor, a word-of-mouth marketing organization inside Procter & Gamble, Knox writes, “The brain is designed not to think.” He believes our brains function in a static state and to get consumers to talk, we need to cause a disruption. A disruption is the core of all word-of-mouth marketing, and it occurs when we give consumers a surprise that doesn’t fit inside their mental model and also ties to the core of a category or brand. For instance, let’s take a WOM campaign by Secret brand to illustrate his point. The core thought of consumers in the category is the more active you are, the more you sweat and the worse you smell. Hence, a message that says “The more you move, the better you smell,” inherently disrupts our thinking. The message remains at the core of the brand, but offers enough of an altered message that consumers want to talk about it.
I believe Steve hits the nail on the head with his thinking, and if you don’t believe me, read the entire article for yourself. I know you’ll be on my side in the end.