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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Power of the "Rumor-Mill"

Its common knowledge that word of mouth is THE undisputed tool for brand building, if not now, it will be sometime in the middle of the unpredictable yet very near future. What is uncommon is using it for real right now. And thats just what has been happening. If you dont believe what you are hearing, maybe you are hearing too much of billo’s rumors! Or may be, you need to check out their facebookgroup at

Well the power of rumor in brand building is evident in this award winning project. The group, consisting of 4 students from NSU has created a rumor phenomenon, while they were preparing for a local competition called “Inter University Promologic 2007″. In the process, they gave birth to a facebook group consisting only of rumors! Currently the group has 482 members who are in it for the rumors and rumors only!

Just ponder for a second. Isnt it quite obvious? Doesnt our ancient tag of “hujugeye” jaty shows us that our brand builders should have thought about it a lot earlier?

Rumors are just a powerful form of word of mouth, just like buzz or recommendations. But digging deep, it has some unruly characteristics that makes it more powerful than the conventional word of mouth wisdom.

1. Rumors are as unpredictable as the path of a maelstrom. Its like an arrow that has been shot. Once you create its path, you can never control it.

2. Rumors spread faster than any other form of word of mouth - simply because the “sin” tag attached to it. Its wrong to spread rumor, that makes it more likely that it will be spreading in record time.

3. Rumors can never be traced back to the origin. That is why its a fantastic tool for brand builders because once they drop a rumour bomb among the mass, they can just sit and enjoy. No one’s gonna point the finger at you with much proof to back it up.

Unintentional rumours has helped brands or created overnight sensations out of them. But the time has come when we pull the reins of this unpredictable horse and use rumours as a calculated means to maximize your brand stickiness.

Shahriar Amin is the creator of the first brand related blog in Bangladesh at where he distributes world class brand teachings customized for the benefits of Bangladeshi businesses and students.


Wahab Uddin said...

Honestly I am not sure how this rumour-led branding strategy will serve the purpose in the long run, when the 'moments of truth' is experienced by the consumers. Also this exploiting of the 'hujuigga' Bangali nation through 'innovative' branding techniques such as this does not give a very good impression too.

mohsin said...

atleast u can create a brand awareness or curiosity amongst ur target market by rumor. n its a strong media specially amongst youth. so if ur target is youth segment u may try it. i think gp n aktel used it around 2/3 years ago in some way> as we heard that gp is going to give less calling charge in bijoy dibosh because aktel would give totally free calling chance fr its customers randomly or fr all. we all tried aktel or gp though some may cursed gp or aktel after being charged.some also bought sims fr this chance.aktel fueled dis rumor thing by giving free calls in past willingly or unknowingly (frm system malfunction).

the "billoo" idea is so powerful dat it made d team runnerup in d competition though they had very few strong points except dis powerful idea.actually they would hav won d competition with dis fantastic idea if they could b a bit good in other sections if not as par standard. d idea made dis name "billo" imprint in our mind. we jst overlooked their big big mistakes by hearing dis fabulous idea> i was a member of dat facebook grp fr fun jst d previous night n also was a contestant in dat competition. kudos to billo's rumor.

GodsdoG said...

a biiiig thanks to Shahriar bhai for posting this message.
i was surprised to see that people talks about Billoo, still.

yes, it's true, i still expect small brands to grow through this group as much as possible.

Thanks to Mr. Mohsin for your comment. i agree, my mistakes in seleting other promo tools. however, i was focused on the 'big idea' rather than other parallel activities. As of your concern, yes, i should have paid some concern on the other activities too. I guess that's what made me runner-up. thanks again that you cheered my 'billoo' idea. it feels good when people appreciates any idea.

Nawed Shahriar

Mahbub said...

I stumbled upon this post and Shahriar Amin's Word of Mouth Workshop Ad.

I have to say Mr. Amin has copied these ideas from the book 'Tipping Point' by Malcolm Gladwell without giving ANY credit!

If you don't believe me buy the book and read it.

And what's this first-time-in-Bangladesh attitude for! WOM is nothing new! Please visit

and download Seth Godin's book for free and you will get a clearer picture. You will also get the step-by-step process of creating a WOM campaign / idea virus.

Please put an end to this copy-modify-paste-make-money culture!

Anonymous said...