Breppies and Word of Mouth Marketing

A few weeks ago I received an email from the founder of a company that makes little earbud covers, call Breppies. While it is not uncommon to get emails about products and companies, this one stood out for two reasons.

First and foremost, the email from Dean Romero was thoughtful and reflected that fact that the guy actually reads what I write. He laid out his dilemma for marketing his product, which is that not having a substantial advertising budget how does one get started with word of mouth marketing. It’s not just about the theory behind word of mouth marketing but rather the tactical 1-2-3 steps for getting the ball rolling.

This is a tough question to answer because like a lot of things in business the theory is relatively straightforward while the actual execution is frustratingly difficult. I mean if Gladwell’s Tipping Point were really that obvious then everyone would be doing it and doing it successfully but the fact remains that they are not.

The second reason his email stood out is that just that day I became really frustrated with my iphone earbuds. I’m not a bluetooth headset guy, I simply don’t like them and outside of my integrated bluetooth in the car I don’t use it. I do, however, like the plain ‘ol ipod headphones which aside from a nasty habit of tangling up work really well. One big problem, once the small rubber gasket around the perimeter of the earbud wears off they simply won’t stay in your ear and Apple wants $29 for a replacement set, which I think is robbery. My interest in Breppies was growing.

200901152234.jpg Dean sent me a couple of pairs and I gave one set to my wife and took the other for myself. In a sentence, these things work. A little challenging to get on but once they are installed your old headphones feel better than new.

These are a great product with a classic dilemma, how to build channel support and market awareness. I’m doing my part by writing an endorsement of this product, if you email me I’ll give you his email address to follow up with him directly. You can also click on this link to get a free product sample.

Another Newspaper Bankruptcy

The Strib has long been financially troubled. Also, like their neighbors to the south, Sam Zell’s Tribune Co., the Strib was taken over by a private equity group a few years ago and suffered under the weight of significant debt maintenance obligations.

The Star Tribune, saddled with high debt and a sharp decline in print advertising, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Thursday night.

[From Star Tribune files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy]

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Read more on Bankruptcy, Private Equity at Wikinvest

Liveblogging the California State of the State Speech

This should actually be called the State of Disrepair of the State speech.

Schwarzenegger is being introduced by Karen Bass, Speaker of the Assembly, by saying that the Governor described their negotiations as “we’re all in this together” and left it at that. Darrell Steinberg, President Pro Tem of the State Senate, is not talking about bridges and dikes to prevent the flood of despair… moves on to Lt. Gov. Garamendi, who never misses an opportunity to remind everyone that he would like to be governor too.

Schwarzenegger is up now, frown and all. Thank you and sunshine blowing ensue. He’s going on about a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and thank you to sundry other people.

C’mon, let’s just get to the budget and save the applause… nobody deserves it right now.

He’s sucking up to the Pres. Elect, Schwarzenegger is already angling to get Federal money.

The state faces insolvency in weeks, is in 3rd special session of the legislature, and people are asking if California is governable, Schwarzenegger says. “I will not give the usual state of the state because California is in a state of emergency”.

It looks like the Governor is going to devote the entire state of the state to the budget and skip all the other stuff that is usually talked about.

“Conan’s sword could not have cleaved our political system in two more than the two parties have.”

Schwarzenegger is right about something, people don’t expect great things from government, they expect the basics like public safety and utility infrastructure, and they expect financial management.

He is now drawing the connection between the halt of infrastructure projects across the state and rising unemployment.

Now he is saying that when the budget crisis is solved that he will send a big list of plans and priorities that include economic issues, healthcare, and environment issues.

He is proposing that the legislature and governor lose their salaries and expenses for eveyr day the budget is late. No applause, lot’s of frowns.

He jumps over to the wildfires of last year. He says we had 2,000 wild fires last year and each one was put out because “we have the best trained firefighters who act selflessly” but I have to wonder what the heck he is trying to say… and then he is done. State of the state is over, 10 minutes in length.

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