Delivering happiness via word of mouth

One of the websites I often visit is The website was founded back in 2005 as a weblog dedicated to obsessively reviewing new Internet products/companies, but they also profile existing companies that are making an impact (commercial and/or cultural) on the new web space.

Recently on I came across a guest post that was written by Cyan Banister, the founder and CEO of Zivity, a platform she created for artists to profitably connect directly with their fans in the rapidly changing digital media landscape. The post was not about Zivity but instead about – a very successful web-based service company (Amazon bought Zappos for $850 million) that sells shoes, handbags, etc.; its CEO and his new book titled Delivering Happiness.

Here is how Banister explains her first introduction to Zappos: “I’ll never forget my first Zappos experience. I was working at IronPort and a coworker liked my shoes and asked me if I ordered them from Zappos. I asked what Zappos was and he said proudly, ‘Only the greatest shoe store online. You can order as many shoes as you like and they’ll send them overnight. You try them on and send back the ones you don’t like. No questions asked.’ This sounded too good to be true. It wasn’t. I now own at least 15 pairs of shoes from Zappos and even though I had the option, I never sent anything back.” (Click here to see the post.)

Lesson #1: Word of mouth marketing is the most effective kind of marketing. When your friends, family members or co-workers recommend something or someone to you, they are genuinely trying to help you. That means a lot. This is why you usually remember it for a long, long time.

Lesson #2: The best promoter of your business is your customer. If you take care of that person, if you delight or fascinate that person, he’ll walk right out of the door and sell for you.

Lesson #3: Effective word of mouth marketing generally stems from something authentic.