Good marketing can get customers in the door the first time, but it’s a great product that keeps them coming back (and bringing their friends with them).
When someone tells their friend about a great gadget they’ve been using or a non-profit they’ve been supporting, that word-of-mouth marketing carries far more weight than a hundred advertisements.
Here are a handful of things which I personally find awesome for one reason or another and have recommended to more than one person on more than one occasion:
iPhone: A revolution in mobile computing and software.
Field Notes: Simple little pocket notebooks that carry a ton of personality.
AeroPress: A coffee-making contraption that is easy to use, easy to clean up, fits in your kitchen cabinet (instead of taking up a square foot of counter space) and just so happens to make very delicious coffee.
Mirrorless cameras: Small, compact, affordable cameras that are capable of taking photos on par with big, bulky, expensive cameras.
Editorial: Took the Geeky iPad Writing Market by storm with all of its powerful and fancy features that make writing for the web easier and faster.
Instapaper: Equal parts tool and placebo, Instapaper lets us save things we want to read later. Sometimes we actually get around to reading those articles when we’re in a better setting and/or have the time. Other times we never get around to reading the items we’ve saved, but having a place to save those things in the moment helps us move on with our day, guilt-free.
Parisi coffee: A new-ish coffee shop down the road from me that makes consistently delicious coffee and has a very friendly staff.
Twitter, Instagram, (and Facebook): Changed the way we communicate, share, and connect with our friends.
Netflix: It started out as a cheap service where you could get all the DVDs your heart desired sent right to your house. Then it turned into a cheap service where you could stream a whole bunch of movies any time you wanted (and you didn’t have to have a cable TV subscription).
Settlers of Catan: A semi-geeky strategy game that’s geeky enough for board game enthusiasts to enjoy while also being easy enough for everyone else to enjoy as well.
I’ve found that some common factors amongst remarkable things include simplicity, focus, personality, delight, nostalgia, and/or excellence.
There isn’t a 1-2-3 recipe for building something other people will want to talk about. And though it’s certainly not easy, neither is it impossible.