Soap and Viral Marketing
My wife ordered me a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap with our latest order of groceries from Safeway. I haven’t had any in a very long time. I’m glad I waited until later to shower today, because let me tell you, I just feel so much cleaner after using it.
Anyone who has ever seen a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap knows it has some strange religious writings on it. Whether or not you agree with the words is not relevant to me. I can’t say I agree with all of them myself. However, I agree with the sentiment behind them, which is we’re all in this world together and we should be good to each other. Spritual cleanliness is just as important as physical cleanliness.
Anyway, the reason I know about this soap is because my mother used it, and consequently so did I. I have never, ever seen an ad for the soap, yet every health food store I’ve been into carries it, not to mention some drug stores (Longs comes to mind) and, apparently, Safeway. Wikipedia suggests they don’t advertise, which an interview with Dr. Bronner’s son confirms. What he does do is interesting: he travels the country and tells the story of Dr. Bronner.
Based on what I’ve read, the story is quite compelling. I’d love to hear the story first-hand. That being said, I think this is a fine example of viral marketing. You have a product so good, a story so good, that your customers market the product for you. It helps if you can tell your own story as well, but when you can get customers to do it, man you’ve got something.