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PRESENTED BY: Robin Ross, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing at Costco
RECORDED AT:’s Crash Course conference in Austin, TX on May 10, 2012
—————————————————————————————————————————————————— is where you’ll learn to be a great word of mouth marketer.

To see more great case studies like this one, check out our upcoming Word of Mouth Crash Course conference at

Below is live coverage from the presentation:

— Trick question: Have you seen the new Costco commercial? They don’t exist. Costco runs on a business model that is fueled on Word Of Mouth Marketing.

— We are getting a brief history of Costco.

— Why WOM? It’s about bringing delight to your members and an excited conversation about your brand.

— When people think about Costco, they think about buying in bulk. He shows us a picture of a Toberlone the size of a small child.

— Wait, did you know that you can buy a wedding gown at Costco? Unexpected surprises at Costco spurs conversation about the brand.

— Oh my. Costco’s online inventory of caskets are on the screen. Costco really takes care of the customer from cradle to grave…

— Costco does not measure Net Promoter Score (NPS).

— “Our members are the key to success.”

— References the Costco Craze on CNBC. The network reached out to them to cover Costco.

— Costco did not start their Facebook fan page; it was created by the fans. When it reached 83,000 fans, Facebook reached out to them to tell them they were going to shut it down if they didn’t take over.


Q: Is it intentional to make everything impossible to find at Costco?

A; There is a treasure hunt aspect to shopping at the store. Costco wants to you walk around and browse. It’s a unique experience.

Q: What do you do to engage your members social channels?

A: Costco tries to maintain an element of surprise; they offer quirky items in their inventory. Ex: A $3,000 toilet and a million dollar engagement ring. Costco gives the members something to talk about.

Q: What is your strategy for mobile devices?

A: Costco is still working to leverage new technologies. A smart phone app is in the works. Mobile coupons are being considered. According to Ross, they understand that their demographic trends older and have a strategy to resonate with the younger market.

Q: Does the “treasure hunt” aspect of Costco have a negative impact with regards to the amount of money that people end up spending when they leave the store?

A: Costco is very transparent and open-book with their customers; The treasure hunt is something that makes their in-store experience unique.

Q: What separates you from Sams Club?

A: They are a formidable competitor. Ross encourages people to see for themselves and compare prices and in-store experience on their own.


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