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  • Sam Decker

Five Factors of Word of Mouth Marketing

Let me explain why I’m about to spread word of mouth marketing for Tervis Tumblers.

I can think of five factors which lead to me spreading positive word of mouth for any product or service. Not all factors have to be present, but the more that are, the more likely I’ll spread buzz.

1) Utility -- Do I use the product or service often, and do I like the way it works every time?

2) Value - Is the price I paid worth the utility of the product/service (frequency and impact in my life)?

3) Delight -- Have I been wowed beyond expectations in the product or the company? Is the product/service differentiated?

4) Integrity -- Does the company have people, actions or policy that reinforces integrity and commitment?

5) Relevance -- Is the product / service ubiquitous enough to be useful to you?

Almost all factors are present for the Tervis Tumbler, which is one of the most durable insulated glasses available on the market. I’ve done my research, bought other products, and was just about to start my own company to solve this problem! Then, one day by the pool at a friends house, I drank from a Tervis. Hours later under the hot Texas sun, the ice had not melted.

Since then I’ve bought 10 Tumblers for my family at about $10 each.

Utility: I like cold drinks, hence I like to keep ice from melting, and yet I live in Texas. This necessitates an insulated cup.
Value: Yes, they are expensive ‘plastic cups’ at $10-$15 each. And so is the $400 Oreck vacuum. However, when you have high frequency of use for something, the old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ becomes more relevant. In contrast, I wouldn’t pay $5 for corn holders, or $20 for a nut cracker. Get the point?
Delight: I’ve tried many plastic and acrylic tumblers. Tervis is the only one that has held up without cracks through hot drinks, cold drinks, several washings and drops. While this should be standard, it’s a delight factor given poor performance from other cups. Also, Tervis comes in 4 sizes (including the 24 oz which is what I need!), and you can get them clear, colored, or put a patch of your interest on the inside. No one else does that.
Integrity: They back their tumblers with a lifetime guarantee. No receipt necessary…just send it in and they’ll send you a new one. Wow. Plus they have heritage — been around since 1946 from humble beginnings.
Relevance: Who doesn’t drink something every day? Who doesn’t like their drinks to stay hot or cold? Who would not like a personalized cup reflecting their name or passion?

So, go to and buy one.

I hope this leads Tervis to more volume, lower costs, and henceforth lower prices for customers like you and me. Not to mention the growth and survival of a good company.

As for a marketing lesson to learn…think about how your company and products score on the factors above. Positive word of mouth marketing can lead to results, as described above for Tervis, by delivering great utility, value, and delight with integrity.


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