Want Word of Mouth? Try This.

cherrick-at-j-gilberts.jpgBeing good is not always a good thing. Good is doing what’s expected. Good is standard. Good is everyday. Good is okay. Good is same-ol’, same-ol’.

Good gives me nothing to talk about.

Being great gives me something to blog about.

Meet Cherrick, a manager at J. Gilbert’s in McLean, VA who transforms a good restaurant into a great restaurant (although my friend Jen swears that the Hickory Salmon makes them great too.)

Last week I attended a networking dinner where nine entrepreneurs sat down for an evening of relaxed networking and casual conversation. Cherrick approached the table and explained the rules of “the game”.

“Name any two celebrities who have been in at least 2 films since 1975 and I will connect them right here in front of your eyes in 7 steps or less.”

Needless to say, the game acted as an excellent icebreaker among us as we searched for the most obscure celebrities we could think of.

Eventually, we settled on Bob Denver and Mandy Moore.

Cherrick, after thinking for about 2 minutes announced his connections:

– Bob Denver was in Cannonball Run with Burt Reynolds
– Burt Reynolds was in the Longest Yard with Adam Sandler
– Adam Sandler was in 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore
– Drew Barrymore was in Charlie’s Angels with Cameron Diaz
– Cameron Diaz was in Very Bad Things with Daniel Stern
– Daniel Stern was in Home Alone with McCully Culkin
– McCully Culkin was in Saved with Mandy Moore.

Impressed, the table immediately began chattering about which friend they were going to bring back to J. Gilbert’s to try and stump Cherrick. Bingo! More customers, more loyalty, more money for J. Gilbert’s – and it didn’t cost a dime out of their marketing budget.

Andy Sernovitz had a great post last week on the rising importance of word of mouth advertising. In fact, his entire blog is dedicated to the subject. If you’re looking to boost your viral marketing efforts, take two minutes right now, visit his blog and add him to your reader. You’ll be glad you did.

4 thoughts on “Want Word of Mouth? Try This.

  1. I’ve heard of this game before, but it was called ‘6 steps to Kevin Bacon’. Being a bit of a movie buff, I’ve played quite a few times myself, although there’s no way I’d have got the link you mention in the post.

    What’s interesting is whether Cherrick was making a conscious effort at a marketing ploy, or just being friendly. I guess either way achieves the successful objective of ‘more’.

    Also, the cynic in me thinks that someone has access to IMDB…. ;o)

  2. Not only did Cherrick break the ice for your entrepreneur meeting (that said most entrepreneurs are anything but backward in coming forward), he also offered a “Free Prize Inside” as Seth Godin puts it…

    …by the way, do you think he cheated? 🙂

  3. If he did cheat, it was masterfully done. He didn’t leave the table or pull out any devices like a cell phone or palm pilot. When I asked him how he knows all these people, he said he can remember faces like no one else. He also spends about 40 hours a week watching movies.

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