Silly Viral Networking Ideas – Idea Stimulator


I have a silly networking idea. And the sillier ideas often lead to better ones, so I thought I would share it.

I was thinking about networking while eating my Pennsylvania corned beef on rye which in no way resembles any real corned beef. It is served on some kind of soft packaged rye bread smeared with butter and mayonnaise. I was in a diner. I watched this busy place turn over several times during lunch. I asked the waitress if it was like this everyday. And she said that business seemed lighter today. She said people usually don’t stop coming from 6 AM to about 2 PM. I asked her how many people she thought she served each day. She answered about a hundred fifty or so. Hmmmm! Thought I. If she averaged a $1.50 tip per person and she worked five seven hour days, she would be earning something like $50-55K a year mostly cash. I also estimated that she might see 500 different customers a week. Now this is in Easton PA. What if she was a waitress in NY or Dallas or Boston or SF or KC? Some of them would be repeat customers or regulars. Never the less, waitresses in diners have incredible potential networks. Okay. What’s the concept?

What if you were able to take over a luncheonette in your town perhaps in exchange for a portrait of the owner, the chef, the busboys and the waiters. They could display their pictures in the joint and maybe even get a digital print to take home. Each worker in the diner or luncheonette would wear a button which said:

I was shot by
Jack Jones.
April 11, 2003
Careful or he may
Shoot you too!

They would have cards with your telephone number and sales info on one side and a portrait of the waitress or waiter on the other. You would be exposed to hundreds of people in a week. What would happen if you did this at the deli or coffee house across from one of the biggest agencies in your town?

Expand on this idea.In what ways could you generate a marketing virus?

Here are the principles of viral marketing developed by Ralph Wilson. How many ways can you see viral marketing working in your business? It is okay to be silly. Do not judge your ideas. Get a lot of them. Write them all down. Have fun.

1. Gives away products or services
In this case the give away was to the luncheonette owner and staff.

2. Provides for effortless transfer to others
All the Waitress needs to do is hand their customers a card

3. Scales easily from small to very large
Imagine working the luncheonette concept in othe venue such as a trade show.

4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors
The waitress is making small talk with people all the time. People will be curious about the button. People   are vain. Etc.

5. Utilizes existing communication networks
The card leads people to your website and/or invites them to make a telephone call.

6. Takes advantage of others’ resources
The luncheonette already has a network of customers.