The maker of Sriracha hot sauce has responded to neighborhood complaints of a strong chili smell from an Irwindale, Calif., factory by hosting open houses for "Sriracha friends." Huy Fong Foods has paired word-of-mouth marketing with efforts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to engage die-hard fans. One initiative calls for photos of Sriracha tattoos.
It's incredible how quickly a few bad decisions can destroy a fan community, writes Andy Sernovitz. Overexposure, laziness and blurring the line between fans and paid promoters can all kill off your word-of-mouth buzz in a flash, he notes. "The best word-of-mouth marketers are always working to nurture and grow their fan base, and they know how to avoid the common mistakes that can kill the conversation," Sernovitz adds.
The famously secret Michelin guide allowed a reporter to accompany a critic on a tasting mission. The critic, given the code name Maxime, said she eats out more than 200 days a year, and chooses menu items that are "a little complex, because you want to see what the kitchen can do."
Tim Andriola, a CIA alum and co-owner of Timó in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., has worked at Charlie Trotter's and Chez Panisse. He expressed admiration for Paul Bocuse and Allen Susser, and said his dream culinary trip is to catch Alaskan king crabs as a guest on "The Deadliest Catch."
The GMA recognized Hershey with the 2009 CPG Award for Innovation and Creativity for its public-relations campaign supporting the launch of Bliss. The campaign used word-of-mouth marketing, social media and traditional media, with 10,000 Hershey's Bliss Chocolate Parties as the focal point.