Word-of-Mouth in New Hampshire

millsfalls.jpgThe New Hampshire Travel Council asked me up to beautiful Meredith, NH to keynote their Fall conference on marketing. My online marketing talk centered on the importance of user-generated content and participating in the conversations consumers are having about your business.

But the best lesson came from a member of the audience following a brief talk by the owner of the Inns at Mills Falls, Rusty McLear, and Alex Ray who runs the Common Man restaurants operated on the hotel properties.

Rusty and Alex alluded to contributing to the community and doing well by being good business citizens, but they didn’t refer to specific initiatives. Then, a member of the audience raised his hand and told the audience that when his August wedding had to be canceled due to unforeseen circumstances, the hotel and restaurants forgave all his contracts for the event.

The two entrepreneurs shrugged off their good deed, but they did note that the gentleman had just told a couple hundred people about his good experience, and likely had related the story several times before. “We’re in business to make money,” noted Rusty, “but not to take the last dollar.”

Strong brands tell stories. Really strong brands know when to sit back and let others tell the stories for them.

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