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Relationship and Word of Mouth: Rackspace

You will find it a very good practice always to verify your references.
—Martin Routh

I started using Mark Marcus makeup brushes because a makeup artist at one of our events told me they were the best! I started eating Yoplait brand yogurt because a friend told me that it didn’t taste like yogurt. I saw 27Dresses in the movie theater because a friend told me it was funny. For me, a lot of influence comes from my peers, my colleagues, and my friends. Because I trust them and know their tastes are similar to mine, when they tell me they enjoy or like something, I immediately want to try it out. All of these are examples of relationships and word of mouth. In this chapter, I’ve selected RackSpace as my company of best practice to discuss how your company can leverage the honesty of customer references and word of mouth.

Focus on Word of Mouth

There are whole businesses springing up around word-of-mouth marketing, or reference marketing. Have you been to Stylefeeder.com? It is an interesting concept started up by Philip Jacob, a software architect, technology consultant, and veteran of several Boston-area startups, who had a vision to improve how people shop. According to its Web site, “Online shopping is currently focused on impulse buying, price seeking, and moving inventory. We think it should be about connecting people to products that are the best

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