January 23, 2009

How to make viral products

Following up my earlier post about “viral products”, I thought I’d post some further musings about viral products as a concept. For me viral products are the Holy Grail of business and marketing – as the core principle behind viral products are that they’re innately talkable products – like the iPod, Google, moo cards etc. – that people freely advocate, therefore massively lowering marketing costs. Of course, most products aren’t viral products, and so require viral agencies like Rubber Republic to create a viral campaign to promote their product off the back of.

Over the last 12 months or so we’ve been working with our sister agency Delib to engineer a viral product of our own called aMap. aMap’s a bit of an unobvious product, however it was something that Delib were working on from an academic perspective and it was something we thought we could help out with and extend into a consumer proposition and ultimately crafted into a viral product (something we’d been wanting to do for a while).

Throughout the process of developing aMap we’ve constantly been asking ourselves the question of what are the core ingredients to virality – and have always come back to 3 principles:

– Talkability: the idea’s got to have various hooks for people to talk about.
– Shareability: the idea should be executed in a way that makes it easy to share and pass on.
– Wearability: ideally the idea should also be easy to embed / mash up. People should also want to advocate, and it advocacy should be made easy to do.

These are three very simple tenets which a viral product concept should always be tested against. Get these right and watch your products buzz grow, advocacy increase and sales rocket. It’s as simple as that ; – )

Posted by Chris Q