How Costco creates topics that continue to drive their long-term word of mouth, presented by Robin Rossjoel harbour
PRESENTED BY: Robin Ross, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Costco
RECORDED AT: WordofMouth.org’s Crash Course conference in Austin, TX on May 10, 2012
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Below is live coverage from the presentation:
— Trick question: Have you seen the new Costco commercial? They don’t exist. Costco runs on a business model that is fueled on Word Of Mouth Marketing.
— We are getting a brief history of Costco.
— Why WOM? It’s about bringing delight to your members and an excited conversation about your brand.
— When people think about Costco, they think about buying in bulk. He shows us a picture of a Toberlone the size of a small child.
— Wait, did you know that you can buy a wedding gown at Costco? Unexpected surprises at Costco spurs conversation about the brand.
— Oh my. Costco’s online inventory of caskets are on the screen. Costco really takes care of the customer from cradle to grave…
— Costco does not measure Net Promoter Score (NPS).
— “Our members are the key to success.”
— References the Costco Craze on CNBC. The network reached out to them to cover Costco.
— Costco did not start their Facebook fan page; it was created by the fans. When it reached 83,000 fans, Facebook reached out to them to tell them they were going to shut it down if they didn’t take over.
Q: Is it intentional to make everything impossible to find at Costco?
A; There is a treasure hunt aspect to shopping at the store. Costco wants to you walk around and browse. It’s a unique experience.
Q: What do you do to engage your members social channels?
A: Costco tries to maintain an element of surprise; they offer quirky items in their inventory. Ex: A $3,000 toilet and a million dollar engagement ring. Costco gives the members something to talk about.
Q: What is your strategy for mobile devices?
A: Costco is still working to leverage new technologies. A smart phone app is in the works. Mobile coupons are being considered. According to Ross, they understand that their demographic trends older and have a strategy to resonate with the younger market.
Q: Does the “treasure hunt” aspect of Costco have a negative impact with regards to the amount of money that people end up spending when they leave the store?
A: Costco is very transparent and open-book with their customers; The treasure hunt is something that makes their in-store experience unique.
Q: What separates you from Sams Club?
A: They are a formidable competitor. Ross encourages people to see for themselves and compare prices and in-store experience on their own.