Heard of Firefox?

You may have heard about a little web browser by the name of Firefox.

Though it’s not so little anymore. Analysts are predicting that Mozilla’s Firefox will soon capture 20% of the total browser market share. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has lost more than 10% of the total browser market in the past 2 years, and most of it has been to Firefox.

Better still, most of this has been done without ANY substantial marketing or advertising budget. Instead, Firefox have relied heavily on Word of Mouth from their loyal user base, along with the extraordinary power of social media.

Firefox Download Day
Firefox Download Day

Firefox’s latest campaign in June revolved around ‘Firefox Download Day’. ‘Download Day’ was an online event designed to encourage people to download the latest version of the browser, Firefox 3.

And the campaign was a huge success. Over 8 million copies were downloaded in a 24 hour period. Which means Firefox is now a Guiness World Record-holder.These are just some of the social-media tools that Mozilla used to spread the word: 

  • Via their community portal, Spreadfirefox, Mozilla created a series of Firefox buttons and badges, that bloggers could embed on their own blogs, myspace pages and the like.
  • Facebook fan page – Fortunately for Mozilla, the Firefox Facebook page has over 115,000 members. They used this page to distribute links, articles and other information that pointed users to the Download Day site. Similar tactics were used on other social networking sites like Myspace and Bebo.
  • You Tube – The Firefox designers produced a series of videos, which promoted the new versions features. These were then added to Youtube.
  • Twitter – Mozilla also posted news and updates about Download Day to their 5,000 Uber Geeky followers through their twitter account.
  • Mozilla Party Central to celebrate the launch of Firefox 3, the Mozilla community hosted hundreds of parties across the planet. They used a Google-maps mashup to promote them

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Start a Facebook group, design a few blog badges and upload something to You Tube, and you’re a viral phenomenon, right?

Actually, no. We all know Word of Mouth marketing isn’t easy. You need loyal, preferably fanatical, customers who believe in what you do. And you need remarkable products that keep getting better. Without having these, it’s near impossible to achieve a word of mouth success story like Fireworks have. As they say, “If you want to be talked about, you need to be worth talking about”.

But if you can achieve all of the above, well-orchestrated social-media marketing campaign can turn your word of mouth up to 11.

Crowdsourcing for Beer

One of the fascinating things about internet is that it allows us to invent brand new business models.

Take Crowdsourcing as an example. Now we can tap into the wisdom of the online crowd, and work with our customers in ways never before imagined. With the help of our online community we can gather great content, collect new ideas and even create new products.

There are some great cases of crowdsourcing out there, including some of the more well known:

Wikipedia : Probably the most famous example. Wikipedia is the worlds’ largest encyclopedia, with over 2,4 million articles and 175,000 authors.

Threadless : The online T-shirt store with a twist – Users can submit ideas for T-Shirts, and the most popular are printed and added to the company’s product range.

iStockphoto : iStockphoto completely re-invented the stock photography game with their online library of user-submitted, royalty free images.

Others are taking the idea of crowdsouring a step further. Including US based brewery called BeerBankroll, who are experimenting with involving the community to fund and manage their company.

How do they do it?

The first step is the Crowdfunding. Beerbankroll are recruiting members (50,000 to start with), who will contribute $US 50 to get the project up and running.

Once BeerBankroll has raised $100,000, the Crowdmanaging kicks in. The BeerBankroll community will then be involved in actively running the business. Members can submit product ideas and vote on management decisions. They can have a say in everything from the brand name, company logo, product design, product mix, marketing plan, advertising and sponsorship.

The company profits are then divided by three: One third is paid to members. One third goes back to the company. One third goes to charity.

If the experiment works, BeerBankroll will have an army of 50,000 beer drinking brand evangelists to help them spread the word.

Who wouldn’t want that?