How to Go Viral - Step #1: Have a Great Product


In the days of social media, marketers and brands are continually focused on 'going viral' - gaining enough momentum on the web that it begins to spread organically and quickly. There are several ways to virally market (Facebook, Twitter, widgets, SEO, etc)... but the most important method is also the most obvious: have a really good product! In July, Polaris hosted a "customer development" workshop at Dogpatch Labs and one of the focuses was reaching product / market fit (coined by Sean Ellis). It is a great, straightforward exercise that drives brands to ensure that their product or service effectively solves a need AND resonates with its users.

... And if you do both of those, you will go viral regardless whether you have integrated all of the social hooks. Of course you can accelerate virality - but a good product speaks for itself. Two good examples: 1. I purchased an Incipio Feather Back iPhone case for myself and also got one for my sister. Over the weekend, we were both asked about the case countless times (what is it? where do you buy it? how much does it cost?). In a 72 hour period, I am confident that we virally sold 10 Incipio cases simply by 'wearing' the product.

2. FlightTrack iPhone App: it is common for iPhone users to ask for application recommendations. That's how I came across FlightTrack Pro - a terrific paid app that monitors flights, arrivals, gates, etc. It is great and when asked what new apps I use (which happens multiple times a day), I now mention FlightTrack. People then go to the app store and spend the $4.99 to download it. It is viral because the app is tremendously useful and the recommendation comes from a social, trusted conversation:

flight-track pro iphone app