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Archive for the ‘Word of Mouth’ Category

Word of Mouth wedding tasting worthy of WOM

In Chew on this, Party Pulse, Uncategorized, Word of Mouth on August 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Desserts at Word of Mouth Catering Wedding TastingFloral Design by Leslie Moore

Duck Confit with Spicy honey BalsamicHerb & Sea Salt Encrusted Beef Cocktail SandwichesAlmond Crusted Salmon with Meyer Lemon AioliSpreads at Word of Mouth Catering Wedding TastingGin Fizz with Tito's Vodka and Grapefruit juiceDesign at WOM Catering Wedding TastingWord of Mouth Catering Wedding Tasting DessertsBuffett Tablescape by WOM Catering

Word of Mouth catering produced a wedding tasting last night at their studio off of South 1st that seriously wowed and tastefully complimented an estival day that had finally cooled to give us reprieve.

Word of Mouth has been in the business of stellar customer service and flavorful and beautiful food for over 20 years. Their attention to detail,  ability to nurture client relationships and deliver on their promises every time on time truly does speak volumes.  This is why they are one of the caterers I always refer to Decor Jette event and wedding clients.   WOM catered events are definitely worthy of some WOM and yestereve’s  succulent soiree was no exception.

I neglected to take pictures of the people but instead , after saying my polite “hello’s” to those with actual pulses I unabashedly chose to do my real hobnobbing with the sexy food and decor.

My heart beat for the sweet and savory sights my eyes beheld and my nose inhaled. It was love at first sight for this lover of abstract design and alluring food.

Guests were initially greeted by an elegant tablescape draped with silken silver, accompanies with black chivary chairs and accentuated with a bright floral arrangement designed by Word of Mouth’s multifaceted CEO, Leslie Moore.

Sautéed shrimp on green chili grit cakes, gazpacho soup sips with cucumber swizzle sticks and torn croutons, profiteroles with green olive butter, duck confit with spicy honey balsamic, asparagus and fontina panini with roasted garlic oil and crispy chickenon tiny buttermilk biscuits with peppered cream gravy paraded around the party as the passed hors d’oeuvres

Tito’s Vodka also made his grand entry with a Grapefruit Gin Vodka Fizz that made us all a little less weary from our long work days.

The ultimate life of the party was the pastry and dessert spread . I must admit that I mingled with them first because I’m a sucker for a good lookin’ petit four.

I was attracted to the sexy almond joys, milk chocolate caramel shortbread, burnt orange velvet baby cakes, almond raspberry petit fours, matcha tea & chocolate petit fours, peanut butter cups, cappuccino brownies, cornmeal lemon sugar cookies, chocolate tiramisu parfaits.

A selection of wedding cakes also graced us with their presence including sour cream with cream cheese and fresh berry filling, chocolate with bittersweet frosting & pastry cream filling and lemon chiffon with lime curd.

Nicole Patel of Delysia Chocolatier brought a small sampling of her to-die-for truffles. My favorite, of course, are the wine influenced bites made from harvests of local wineries.

Soon, the buffet flirted with me and was almost too bewitching to touch. But I found it hard to resist its sweet crystallized honeycomb. Nor could I stay away from my other favorites: triple cream brie and wedges of blue cheese with apricot-current. Once I pulled off the first layer of the spread, it was far too easy for me to delve deeper into the herb & salt encrusted beef cocktail sandwiches on potato rolls with horseradish cream and baby greens, dijon marinated chicken on a bed of fennel onion confit, sautéed green beans with radish chives and fig vinaigrette and hearts of romaine with ricotta salata, mixed olives, artichoke hearts and mushrooms, tossed in creamy cucumber dressing. But the item that left me wanting more was the almond crusted salmon with meyer lemon aioli. I lusted after the plates that still had their salmon; waiting to be devoured.

My evening thirst was quenched with a nightcap of hot Americano perfectly prepared by Kenneth Adkins, of Affogato, fine coffee, espresso & gelato.

I stayed long after all of the other guests – not wanting to end the conversations my lips and taste buds were having. But, alas. It was time to finally leave.

I drove back to my home feeling satiated and complete.

A foodiful night indeed worthy of WOM.

How a HOPA quits her job and taints her personal brand in one day

In Chat, personal branding, social media, Word of Mouth on August 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm

While reading a post on Chris Apollo Lynn’s (Republic of Austin ) Facebook wall, I learned about a young woman who dramatically quit her job.  What makes this everyday occurrence extraordinary is that she didn’t dump her job quietly. She quit  not by writing a two week notice and slipping in in HR’s inbox, not with the intention to leave relationships, reputation and decorum in tact for future referrals,  but rather she left in a viral explosion.

She left her mark not only the company she was ditching but she also marked the vast social media landscape.

She definitely had chutzpah, something I admire in a woman.  I too would take offense to someone I worked for calling me a HOPA (Hot Piece of Ass.)  And she definitely displayed excellent  resolve for transparency, which I admire in marketing .  But her transparent chutzpah left  me wondering, was it a smart personal branding move in this age of rapid word of mouth? My answer, of course,  is “no.”


The stunt was all a traffic-driving hoax orchestrated by humor site theChive.com who cleverly timed it with the outrageously viral real story of JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater. His stunt didn’t just garner web hits and laughs, it actually landed him in jail for the night.

The fascination with Slater’s story was the perfect social media wave for theChive.com to jump onto and ride.  I was impressed by their swift ingenuity. Mainstream mentions of the HOPA girl are estimated at 40 and blog mentions round up to over 4,000.   The tally is still out on the Twitter tweets and Facebook status updates.

Again, I go back to the question of: What if this young woman were looking for another job as a broker. Would  not her personal brand be too tainted because of the viral nature of her abdication from her previous job – or would future employers even be paying attention? I would wager that smart employers would be paying attention and Googling information on interviewees and would  more than likely be exceedingly hesitant to hire Ms. HOPA.

To most, I know the question and comments I pose seem like common sense, but I often find myself amazed by what people post online without thoughts of  the repercussions in the future.

Two quotes stick out to me about this subject:

Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.”
Jason Hartman

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
Tom Peters in Fast Company, 1997

every homer has a marge. and other truths about love and word of mouth

In Chat, Word of Mouth on July 28, 2010 at 5:07 am

I took the plunge and decided to invest in attending the GasPedal How to be Good at Word of Mouth Supergenious conference in New York recently.

Gaspedal is a company headed by WOM (word of mouth) guru, Andy Sernovitz. His company teaches other companies how to be good at word of mouth, which is especially helpful during the age of social media.

Supergenius is Gaspedal’s annual conference where different people from  around the world attend and here influential speakers.

I felt that attending this conference would have a strong return on investment for me, my current clients and future clients.

My excitement about the conference grew even more when I found a box at my door step filled with conference “survival” gear essentials such as a mustache, a whoopee cushion, a bouncy ball, and Andy Sernovitz book “Secret and Mysterious Order of Word of Mouth”

The conference fee, the hotel and the flight were worth Every. Single. Penny.

I came back armed with a wealth of useful, timely and timeless knowledge and a kick butt swag bag!

swag bag contents

This year, the founder of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, gave the key note speech  and I completely geeked out when I saw Tony sitting in front of me during when of the “How to” segments of the conference. Wish I’d worked up the nerve to get him to sign copy of his book Delivering Happiness.

Other notable companies represented were the people  from Maker’s Mark, Domino’s Pizza, Kraft, GM and more.

GasPedal CEO Andy Sernovitz gave the opening key-note on how word of mouth will save our brand

Love or Marketing

Key Points:

Happy customers are your greatest advertisers.  Earning their respect and recommendation is most important.

Ex: Zappos

We buy from Zappos.com because they make us fall in love with their service. They let us vent about our bunions and return our shoes whenever we want to return them. Because of Zappos unconditional commitment to service, Zappos  sells billions of shoes.
Love is the most powerful force in marketing. Love earns customers. It’s not bought and paid for. It is earned through caring service.

We have a choice: We can either pay for media or get someone to talk for us. Customer love doesn’t cost anything.

Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what other people say it is.

Word of mouth is the last thing they hear after your salespeople leave. People Google your product and find Yelp reviews, Tweets, etc of people who have reviewed your product.

All of the ads in the world don’t move products. Word of mouth moves products.

Word of mouth works with good companies, good products and good people. Good companies are open, honest and kind. Companies that use word of mouth are better companies.

Andy shared these examples that demonstrated that every Homer has his Marge:

Skittles: There’s nothing new about skittles – except that 6 million people are Skittles fans on Facebook!

Dell Outlet Store: Dell outlet store’s twitter account is followed by 1.5 million people. They sell 6 million dollars of stuff for every 20 minutes each day. Duct brand duck tape found that kids are using duck tape to make prom clothing. 120 schools, 1,6000 reporters, and 48,000 families compete for the  scholarship developed by Duck brand for the best prom dress .

Heinz Ketchup: 4,700 people made Youtube commercials for Heinz and 10 million watched.

“There’s love for everything! If we can do it for ketchup and duct tape, we can do it for you! Every Homer has his Marge.
Help love grow:  nurture it and invest in it. If people like what you do and are happy with you, help people start the conversation and spread it loud.

Definition of WOM: giving people a reason to talk about your stuff and making it easier for that conversation to take place

Ex:  “Secret” employee discounts to places like Gap and J. Crew.

A guy or gal in the marketing department sends an email to employees that gives a special discount code for just employees. The employees are told they can share it with only a few select friends. Then, the employees share this email with their friends and these friends share it with their friends. Gap and J. Crew make it easy for conversation to take place by giving it to those will talk and share. This sharable email  is much more effective than non sharable employee discount cards.

The 5 T’s of WOM:

1. Talkers: who will talk?

2. Topics: what will they talk about?

3. Tools: help the message spread.

4. Taking part: join the conversation.

5. Tracking: measure and listen.


It is not about social media!
An email gets a lot of traction too.  A personal recommendation from a personal friend beats a tweet any day.

Be a brand worth talking about. WOM needs to be portable, repeatable, emotional.

A company needs to help people share the love. Give them the tools and the technology to share the message. Put videos on YouTube. Put offers on Twitter and Facebook. If people want to put your name places, give them hats, shirts, stickers, etc.

He ended with these key points:

Would anybody tell a friend? This is the question that challenges you to be wonderful. Is this product good enough?

Advertising is the price of being boring:
You can be special enough for people to talk about you. Or you can be boring and buy ads. Be different, be interesting and let people talk about you.

Andy’s keynote speech was the beginning of my new love affair with Word of Mouth marketing.