In Philadelphia there is a dollar-a-slice pizza place, opened by a man called Mason Wartman. He got the idea for the restaurant whilst working on Wall Street, in New York. He noticed that people were too busy for a whole pizza and many were just buying a slice and getting on with their day.

Rosa’s opened in Philadelphia in 2013. After a short while a customer came into the shop, bought a slice of pizza and asked if they could ‘pay it forward’. That means they wanted to pay for a slice and allow anyone who needed one to come and eat it. Mason gave the customer a post-it note and they created a ‘voucher’ and stuck it to the wall.

Soon after another customer saw the note and asked what it was about. Mason told them. They also paid for an extra slice as a voucher.

Before long dozens of people had paid for a ‘pay-it-forward’ voucher and the wall was full of vouchers. Homeless people started seeing the notes and redeeming them for a free slice of pizza.

The end result is that Mason has a thriving business. Customers can feel good that they are not only feeding themselves but also helping people in need and homeless people are able to get some hot food whilst being treated with respect.

This is a great example of how everyone can win if the rules of the game are set up in the right way.

Influencer marketing offers the same possibility. In traditional marketing the brand is the broadcaster and the potential customer is the target of that broadcast – this is not a win-win situation. In influencer marketing, brands are able to work with people who really care (the influencers) to create content that theinfluencers’ audiences(the customers) really want to consume that results in greater awareness of – and good-will towards – the brands. That is a win-win-win situation.

Treat your brand like Rosa’s pizza joint – facilitate the happiness of those creating good (influencers) and those consuming it (customers) and your business will flourish.


[Thanks to the ever-brilliant Dave Trott for the inspiration for this piece]


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