How to Lead a Recommendable Brand

 This guest post was written by Jacob Hurwith, Marketing and Social Media Manager, WOMMA. You can connect with Jacob on Twitter at @JacobHurwith.

As a marketer, a brand, sibling, professional or friend, living a recommendable life will always keep you one step ahead.

It is the passionate and engaging brand that gets talked about. It is the driven professional who gets promoted. It is the humane brother who will never lose the love of his siblings. All play a prominent role in living a recommendable life.

Few people know how to live a more recommendable life than Paul Rand, CEO and President of the Zocalo Group in Chicago. In the thick of convocation season, this past June, Rand delivered what I believe to be one of the most compelling and mind-numbing speeches to Northwestern University"™s IMC graduating class of 2012. His message remains true today (and will for years to come).

"If you want to succeed personally and professionally, live a recommendable life," Rand said.

Citing a Nielsen study, Rand noted that 92% of people say that a positive recommendation from a friend, family member or another trusted person is the biggest influence on whether they buy a product or service. Needless to say, when your best friend recommends "X" brand, chances are, "X" brand just got a new customer.

Rand then cited his five tips for living a recommendable life:

1. Develop a clear and purposeful story on how you want to be talked about and recommended

At WOMMA, our goal is simple: Put on memorable conferences where people can learn, network and spread the message. To do this, we plan out of the box sessions like a TKO debate on the relevance of social media, a brand loyalty session on Lady Gaga or even a zombie presentation by the WOMM guru himself Geno Church. These all contribute to the WOMMA story.

2. Live your brand

If someone is going to put their butt on the line and recommend you, it better be worth it. Friends recommend brands, products, and services all the time. Your friend"™s reputation is now on the line. In social, the share button on Facebook and the Twitter RT are built for this purpose. Make sure you are worthy of a passionate recommendation.

3. Be human

We all make mistakes, and in social people are itching to catch the latest gaffe: posting to your brand"™s corporate handle instead of your own, failing to seek context before using a trending hashtag. Some of these can be pretty egregious, like this tweet from UK clothing retailer Celeb Boutique following the tragic shooting in Aurora, Co. earlier this year:

It"™s hard to recover from such a damning lack of judgment. That said, social isn"™t about using PR architected language; with a good dose of common sense and a solid understanding of your brand, it pays to be human and join conversations that aren"™t directly related to your brand.

And if you find your brand at the center of a social media blunder? Be human and own up to your mistakes.

4. Stay engaging and interesting

New products tend to spark WOM, but how can you get people talking about old or existing products? As an individual, how do you stay top of mind among colleagues and friends outside of major life moments? The key is to stay talkable, WOMMA veteran John Moore of Brand Autopsy knows better than anyone and says a key is to be unique.

Spend more time listening to your customers to identify their interests. Create talkable stories from those interests and not merely from your marketing pitch. Show people something they have not seen. Make yourself intriguing.

5. Evaluate and evolve, but stay true to your core

Take ownership of your life and your brand. Enough said.

So how do you live a recommendable life? What do you do personally or professionally that keep people talking about you? Leave a comment on this blog or message us on Twitter @JacobHurwith or @Spredfast.

cdoman@spredfast.com's picture

Courtney Doman

@cjdoman
Courtney is the Content Marketing Manager at Spredfast. She focuses on sharing smart social ideas and insights to transform the way companies connect with consumers. Courtney is a passionate football fan (supporting Arsenal and the USMNT), curious traveller, and ambitious home cook.