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Viral marketing – the holy grail

Not sure how many of you have heard of Dollar Shave Club – but it’s at least 7.5 million, as that’s how many views their video has gotten! They’ve also amassed 58k facebook likes, so they must be doing something right.

While we’re not sure we want to proclaim that our Home Insurance is “F***ing Great” on our homepage, we definitely think there’s some things to learn from them. With only $1 million in seed funding and 5 full-time employees they managed to land 12,000 customers in the first 2 days of operation! In the olden days before the internet it would be unthinkable to try go up against the likes of Gillette with a marketing budget that could be charitably called a rounding error for the big guys. The power of viral marketing through social media has now made this possible. At Square One we find stories like this really inspiring, and it makes us want to continually get better, and find ways to make our customers raving fans and brand ambassadors.

We’ve been very satisfied with customer response to our offering, and once we get someone on our site there’s a strong likelihood they’re going to end up buying home insurance from us. The challenge however is to introduce Square One to more people without spending millions on mass market advertising. What would convince you to spread the word? What do you think of our referral program – is it compelling enough? We’re doing some experiments with it right now that we’ll talk about in a future blog post. What has caused you to mention a product or brand to a friend or family member? What is it about Dollar Shave Club that’s helped them go so viral? Obviously the video is funny, but what do you think about the copy on their website? Do you like it’s frankness, and use of humour (sarcasm)? That tone may work for a company selling razor blades, but what about a company selling home insurance? We obviously take the trust our customers put in us very seriously, and wouldn’t want to be seen as trivializing that trust. We’ve also found that sometimes if we try to be too cute, it just confuses and dilutes the message. Definitely a balancing act there.

Love to hear your thoughts.

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