Rumors are branding and marketing too.
2 rumors that dictated how I personally dealt with a product. Both were false but the damage had been done.
1. Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose after using it for the very first time.
This made me extremely afraid of cocaine. Never used it, never tried it, never sold it, never even held it in my hand, I don’t know what it feels like. Len Bias was actually a constant user of coke and either got a bad batch or used too much that night. I hate that he died but I’m thankful to whoever started this rumor.
2. Kentucky Fried Chicken is making chickens in a lab or feeding them extreme steroids making them no longer able to be classified as chickens. And the people who govern this stuff stopped them from using the word chicken in their name and that’s why they started just using KFC instead. I haven’t eaten KFC since, just wasn’t taking that chance. While I don’t know how they grow or make their chickens, the name change was simply a marketing thing. Who are the people who govern chickens and restaurant names? Where’s the office? The FDA don’t give a damn so I know it’s not them. This is something someone made up. Probably Bojangles or Popeyes.
My point is that word of mouth can be great branding or it can completely turn away potential customers. Start a rumor about your own business to see what happens. Jay Z is a great rapper, but he got big after he started implanting his own name into the conversations. “They argue all day about who’s the best MC Biggie, Jay Z, or Nas”. Nobody was having this argument when he said this. We were talking about Biggie, Nas, and Pac at the time. His first album (his best in my opinion) didn’t do good until he re-released it after his second album did great. But he said it so much on that second album that we really did start having that conversation. Now look at him.
Start a rumor!