Help Your Showroom Go Viral

Help Your Showroom Go Viral

Contagious – Why Things Catch On, written by U Penn Wharton Marketing Professor Jonah Berger, offers guidance that kitchen and bath showrooms can use to become better promote their brands.  

Berger destroys several marketing myths upfront. The most effective tool to build brand recognition remains word of mouth. Berger's research found that 93% of all messages are communicated via word of mouth. Word of mouth is the primary factor in 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions.  Berger notes that Facebook, Twitter, Houzz, Pinterest and other social media outlets are not strategies. They are technologies that can be leveraged to get customers and potential new customers to talk about your showroom.  The reason why referrals are so valuable is that customers who are referred by a friend, coworker, family member, etc. spend more. That’s why it is critical to provide experiences that are so compelling your customers want to share them with anyone who will listen.

Berger claims there are six principles that cause ideas, products and businesses to spread.  He calls them STEPPS (Social Currency, Triggers, Emotion, Public, Practical Value and Stories)

Social Currency: People talk about something because it makes them look good.  What about your showroom makes your customers look good?  Is it a smart faucet, innovative storage system, sleek new finish or paint color that makes their kitchen the envy of the neighborhood?

Can you leverage your ability to stage a project to prevent problems, maintain construction schedules and troubleshoot snafus?  Would your customers not want to spread the word that when they came to your showroom, you did the heavy lifting and avoided all of the horror stories that prevent others from undertaking renovation projects?

Triggers are cues that make people think about your showroom.  Can you partner with local hotels, restaurants or shopping malls to make their restrooms more appealing and barter a deal that allows you to place a sign that reads these wonder fixtures were sourced from ABC Showroom,  Who can you partner with that will remind people that there’s more to a kitchen than cabinets and countertops?

Emotion: We can’t say it enough. It’s not what a product does. It’s how products and showrooms experiences make customers feel.  Brainstorm with your team and make a list of the products/ services you offer and how they make customers feel.

Public: This is about stickiness.  It’s about the out-of-box experience and represents a tremendous opportunity for kitchen and bath showrooms.  Every time one of your customers use their new kitchen, they should have a positive memory that your showroom delivered. This causes these customers to share their emotional connections with your showroom with others.

Practical Value: Showrooms offer incredible value, albeit that value does not necessarily translate to dollars and cents. It’s hard to show the practical value of of a kitchen design that can cost thousands of dollars.  The question that showrooms need to answer is how do you create value for your customers and how can you best communicate that value.

Stories: What story would a customer tell about their experience in your showroom? Great stories are about the message not the messenger.  What’s your message?

Berger uses a number of examples of how ideas have spread to support his theories. There are a number of ideas that can help you develop marketing and branding strategies that will encourage your customers to become brand advocates. 


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