Valentina with Buc-ee

Buc-ees and the power of WOMM

My hands were shaking. I was excited like a kid entering Disney World. But it wasn’t Disney, it was the exit to the Buc-ees. It took six minutes in heavy traffic from the exit to the parking lot. But yes, my hands were shaking in excitement for a chain. It has the world record for being the world’s largest convenience store and world’s longest car wash. I have a lot to share about why marketers and small business owners should focus on their word -of-mouth marketing (WOMM).

Nielsen found that consumers were 77% more likely to buy a product if their friends recommended it. 23% of consumers talk about their favorite products with friends and family every day. Word-of-mouth marketing results in 5x more sales than paid media impressions”

I was a long road trip from TN to Florida (with kids) and I stopped at the Buc-ees location in St. Augustine (FL). The newest store opened last month near me (an hour away in the Smokey Mountains). I am season pass holder for Dollywood so in the past year I kept seeing the billboards promoting this new location opening up soon. Funny billboards kept me engaged for months.

Teacher conference talking about Buc-ees

I started noticing posts on my social media from folks checking into this store in other locations as they traveled throughout “the South.” I couldn’t see what the deal was with this logo that they use of a beaver? I asked around and discovered they sell food, clothing, everything practically. I even asked my daughter’s teacher during a parent teacher conference about it to settle my nerves about the meeting with her teacher. I remember her mentioning a brisket sandwich. 

buc-ees burrito
buc-ees burrito

Facebook friends would post their pictures and I would view them and I wondered what was the big deal? When I left after my first visit I discovered they have food, but it was not only yummy but affordable and diverse, catering to various demographics of foodies. They are also known for their amazing wages (people also post about that), the cleanliest bathrooms, the Ethanol Free gas, and Car Washes. 

The Most Amazing Marketing Book Ever

In the chapter, The Secret Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM) from Zack Seipert in the Most Amazing Marketing Book ever, he discusses creating meaningful experiences to get your stories told. Furthermore, he mentioned “three ingredients to a shareable experience are: relevance, fun, and meaning.”  

Was it relevant, yes because they have great options (of food, clothing, etc) that most people would appreciate, was it fun? Yes because I would see pictures of people gathering around the mascot for pictures. Meaning, that’s the tricky part? We wanted to show off to others that we stopped by a location. Whether it was the brand new one or show off we checked-into the location in (a vacation spot).

As a small business owner and marketing consultant to others, how can we replicate similar experiences that causes others want to post about your brand or service?

Tips include:

  • Have a friend visit your location (for feedback)
  • How long does it take to reach out to you? Or check out? Time matters!
  • Have you checked if your product is still relevant/seasonal? (Rotate inventory)
  • Do you cater to newer audiences/tastes?
  • Do your research on emerging trends in your industry (vegan, sustainable, etc)
  • Do you engage with the people checking into your location? (check your notifications)
  • Do you have location(s) where people can take a selfie?
  • What is memorable about your product/service?
  • What feeling do you want your customers to feel when they leave the door?
  • Would you want to personally post about your own business? If not, why not?

I left the store with it exceeding my expectations with the quality and value of the food. But most importantly, I brought home a bathing suit that fits me unlike any other bathing suit since having children (bonus: feeling confident). The quality was noticeable with first touch and price point at $19.99, made it a great deal.

Valentina's bathing suit
Valentina’s bathing suit

Have a question on WOMM? Reach out to me below or with this link to get on my calendar. I would be glad to help you with your social media marketing strategy.

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