The O.M.G. Effect ~ Ian Lai

Some say the best things in life are FREE.

I can’t agree more because we can never put a price tag on love, family, friendship, hugs, kisses, sleeps, air, laughter (and the list goes on).

And in sales, ‘FREE’ is probably ranked as magic word #1. Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want free gifts, free vouchers and free publicity? Especially in the branding world where budget is one of the most important factors on where your ads will end up at, or how many people you manage to reach out to, to make an impact.

That’s where the Word of Mouth Marketing (or WOMM in short) comes into play. It’s powerful and It’s FREE! Just like when you are trying to approach a new client with no connections what so ever, getting the recommendation from the new client’s close friends will almost win you half the battle. The rest of the battle is up to you to live up to or even exceed the expectation the prospect have over your BRAND or your products, after your friend has built you up and gave you a grand entrance.

People have all kinds of reasons to share with you things that they’ve seen, touched and tasted, or not to share at all. So how do we get people to talk, and to talk highly of our BRAND for FREE? Here are my 3 tips for you – O.M.G.! And they are all FREE!




Would you come back from a reunion party and start talking about the most boring friend in your group?

Of course not! You would share on those who had new changes – those who looked much more gorgeous, those who were the most successful or those who had the cutest kids – the most outstanding people.

Similarly, you want to share with people the newest shopping mall you went to; the most affordable dessert you just had; or the weirdest, yet creative handicrafts you saw on the Internet. Therefore, make your BRAND or products outstanding, to be worth sharing with people, something like “OMG! Everything is only $1 at the new Japanese store!” or “Wow! I saw hundreds of people queuing up for the newly launched IT gadget from 8am onwards!”

Start now by identifying the WOW factor(s) of your BRAND or product, and do a campaign that is outstanding for people to share. Look into the key attributes and focus on it.




Leave a memorable impression, immediately.

When I first watched a music video featuring an unknown Korean singer on Youtube a few years ago, I was confused whether the singer was trying to be cool, humourous, or sexy. But I just can’t seem to get the horse-riding dance moves out of my head. And it has quickly become a major hit online, in the karaokes, on the streets, everywhere.

Soon it had became a phenomenon, by breaking the 1 billion views barrier and became the all-time #1 in Youtube’s history. To his credits, PSY has a vision to make an impression with THAT dance, after trying and eliminating many other creatures’ moves (as he mentioned in an interview on a Jonathan Ross Show). And ‘Gangnam Style’ would be imprinted forever in our minds, as the most outrageous and memorable song that most non-Koreans never got to understand but fell deeply in love with.

Therefore, create something as memorable as possible to have a really strong impact, to have that “have-you-seen-it-already” effect.




Happy customers are your best referrals.

Your campaign shall focus in giving your customers real benefits, to leave a lasting impression. The more generous you are, the more generous they will become in spreading the news for you.

The perfect example is the McDonald’s breakfast treats about a couple of years ago, which enabled customers to get 2 Big Breakfast for FREE with any RM5 purchase. Crazy wasn’t it? And yes the customers too went crazy over the 5-day period (including me, twice), resulting in extra-long queues of breakfast eaters at McDonald’s everywhere. Not forgetting those who printed extra copies of vouchers just to take away for their colleagues. It was a stroke of genius, and a very generous move from the big yellow M franchise.

Remember, always have the mindset that happy customers are the returning customers. When they are happy, they will recommend your BRAND or products to more people. Keep them happy, pamper them, and let them WIN first, so you can WIN in long-terms.

Of course, creating an O.M.G. first impression could win you half the battle. However, if your BRAND or products don’t consistently produce results that you had promised, the initial good impressions you get from WOMM would come back and haunt you. Comments like “Well, those cup cakes that we queued up 3 hours buying are no way as good as we first thought they were.” can happen anytime. Hence, your BRAND or product must live up to or exceed the expectations that the WOMM has built up for you.

It’s powerful! It’s FREE!
It’s the Word of Mouth Marketing!

Master this and you shall enjoy FREE promoters for your BRAND as long as you want.




Ian Lai | Brandingprenuer • Trainer




T  +603 7717 4922

Ian Lai is the Brandingpreneur from BrandtalksAsia. His passion is to assist companies and individuals to discover their WOW factors towards becoming a Brand. Please contact him at for consultation on Personal & Corporate Branding.

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