Case in Point
Buzzmarketing: Get People to Talk About Your Stuff
Moving forward with buzz marketing philosophy,
Half.com catapulted to the Top Ten list as one of the most trafficked retail
sites on the Internet in less than a year, with budgets one-tenth the size
of their competitors.
from half.com managed to grow
startup firm from zero to 8 million registered users in less than
three years. They looked for an
interesting way to launch their site and
e-venture – an amazing idea, something that would make people and
the media talk about their site. They wished to use a
At first they hired an ideation company that
suggested the usual wild ideas, such as releasing a large balloon from Mount
Rushmore... These were not really the kind of things that would make people
talk about half.com.
After some time, half.com's team came up with a
really interesting out-of-the-box idea. Find a place that has the word "half" in it, and
convince them to temporarily change their name to half.com. A brief search
in the US list of names of places brought out Halfway, Oregon (population
In early December 1999, a representative of the
Half.com marketing team paid a visit to Halfway, Oregon to ask Mayor Dick
Crow if the town would consider changing its name to Half.com, Oregon.
Although skeptical at first, Mayor Crow conducted in some preliminary
discussions with Half.com and decided to direct the matter to the City
Council for further consideration.
The council eventually agreed to change the
name, and this is what happened:
On Wednesday, January 19th, NBC's Today Show
was broadcast live from Half.com, Oregon, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania,
corporate headquarters of Half.com, Inc. as the company launched its web
site. Millions of viewers and Internet users throughout the country and the
world experienced the proclamation of the World's First Dot Com City and the
new person-to-person business model presented by Half.com. It is a day the
town will remember forever.
Before spending a single dime in traditional
marketing, Half. com captured the attention of the media, and the Internet
community. Time magazine called it "one of the greatest publicity
coups" in history.
Twenty days after the launch, e-Bay called.
Within six months Half.com was sold to eBay for US$ 300 million.
Inspirational Business Plan:
Milestones Completed and Future Plans:
"Once we rid
ourselves of traditional thinking we can get
on with creating the future."
– James Bertrand...
Toyota's 10 Management Principles
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Thinking outside the box is never easy, nor is
it merely a reflection of mental brightness. To leave your psychological
comfort zone and explore "solutions in the unknown world on the outside
requires large measures of mental agility, boldness, and
– and/or a
inspirational leader who
makes life in the old box so uncomfortable that getting out is the only
option. The future rests in those willing and able to do so."1
questioning the everyday things you
take for granted and
getting away from old ideas. "The best assumption to have is that any
commonly held belief is wrong," says Ken Olson, CEO of DEC...
Step Out of Your Shoes
and your thinking mode.
Stepping out of your everyday shoes and into the shoes of others may help
you surface new insights to a problem...
Ask Searching Questions
requires an inquisitive mind. Unless
you ask lots of
"Why?" and "What If"? questions, you won't generate creative insights. "To avoid this
most common of creative errors, be sure to peek under all carpets, including
your own. Don't take anything for granted. Especially
looking at the world through more inquisitive eyes; try getting ideas in
motion; try asking the all-important: "Why?"
See what happens!" says Alexander Hiam.7
walks into a Swiss bank in Geneva and asks for a
$100 loan. He offers his luxury Mercedes car as collateral. The collateral
is too good, and the bank manager approves the loan. A year later, the
Russian comes back. He repays the loan and the 10% interest and is ready to
collect his car. Finally, the puzzled bank manager dares to ask him: "Excuse
me, sir, could you tell me: did you really need that $100 so badly? In
order to get the money, you left your luxury car with us for a whole year!"
The Russian replied, "That's simple - just think outside the box:
where else in Geneva can I find such a great parking place for just $10 a
Break Free of Routine
Falling into a routine can destroy your life.
Routine is so dangerous and so powerful that even the best of intentions
can be knocked down for good because of it.
Recognize if you are in a routine and break
free. Sometimes it's a matter of an attribute we all seek in life –
confidence. If you wish to
you need courage and a strong belief in your
ability to succeed.