Monday, March 20, 2006

Creating Buzz

Word of Mouth Marketing and Buzz Marketing are all the rage in 2006. You can barely pick up a marketing publication or surf blogs without seeing the topic displayed, dissected and discussed. Buzz is all the buzz.

But there is no trick to getting you and your company on the tip of everyone's tongues. To get your customers to sing your praises from every mountain you must be simply spectacular. You must stand out from the competition, and do so with gusto.

I was reminded of this over the weekend while vacationing on Galveston Island (on the Gulf Coast of Texas). I had never been to Galveston, and I had heard mixed things about it as a family get-away destination....but my family had a great time.

While many things contributed to the experience, the highlight of the weekend was the lunch we ate at the Mosquito Cafe. Galveston is not lacking for restaurants. It seems that most of the usual suspects chains are present along the Sea Wall, but the Mosquito Cafe was off the beaten path. We discovered it quite by accident, and decided it looked inviting.

I could rave about the food for paragraphs (but I must mention the "Lemonade Dream Cake", which is the best piece of cake I have EVER tasted. I now feel sad for all other cake), but it was not just the amazing cuisine that made this place special. It was the owner and his staff that set this restaurant apart from the hundreds of others.

The owner, Stephen Rennick, walked around the restaurant visiting with all the patrons. It was clear to any observer than this place was a favorite of the locals on the island, and not just a tourist destination. He assisted his wait staff, and still found time to talk to the guests.

He spent ten minutes with us, answering our questions about the restaurant, his background, and the other great places to eat in Galveston. While he would not share the recipe for the cake (DANG), he did make an impression on my family. Even my nine-year-old daughter noticed that he was "nicer than most restaurant owners" (not that she has ever seen any others come by the table and socialize...that just does not happen everyday). When we left he gave my wife an extra piece of the lemon cake, and two homemade cookies for my kids. This little bit extra just made it official....this guy and his restaurant are fantastic.

There was always a crowd waiting to get into the restaurant (both while we ate and when we drove past the night before). Without a doubt, this establishment has "Buzz" and the "Word of Mouth" is working.

I could not wait to write about this restaurant on my blog, as everyone should know about greatness when it exists (it is so rare these days). If your travels ever bring you to Galveston, you MUST eat at the Mosquito Cafe!!! You wont be disappointed.

Thom Singer

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