Word of mouth marketing is pretty powerful marketing and achieving that is the holy grail of viral marketing efforts. Cherryflava Media (the media publisher behind Cherryflava, Jetstreaker and Feverpitcher) have launched another Cherrypicka with the intention of not just finding that grail but seizing it and locking it up in a safe somewhere. So what is Cherrypicka and how does it work? According to the site:
Cherrypicka is a spanking-new, brand showcase site that transforms you into a cash test dummy.
It’s brought to you by the world-famous, South African micro-publishing entrepreneurs; Cherryflava Media. Founded way back in 2006, we specialise in micropublishing to a very select, upmarket, affluent, loyal South African audience who consume gritty, honest, from-the-heart media.
For lazy gift givers, wannabe critics or people in search of new things to try out, Cherrypicka is part virtual shop, part blog site that allows you to buy test tickets to try out the showcased brands, and then share the review of your experience with the rest of us.
It’s an innovative, word-of-mouth, try-before-you-buy, experiential / buzz marketing tool that’s part advertising mixed in with an unbelievable bargain. Our aim is to promote brands in a fresh, new way online and for you to enjoy us doing so.
The idea is pretty exciting. You see something you would like to try out on the site, you buy a ticket to try it out, receive the item, test it and then report back to Cherrypicka on your experience with the product. Here is an example of one of the products available for review:
If you are a vida e caffe fan you can buy a ticket for the "Vida test pack" for a mere R20 (less than half the retail value of that pack). The vida e caffe people will then contact you to arrange to get that pack to you for review. Once you have reviewed it, you then go back to the site and post your review. I understand that the merchants are donating the test items for review so there are limited quantities of those items and they are only available for a limited time period.
I spoke to Jonathan Cherry (the man behind the whole thing) and he mentioned that the site had received a tremendous response just through word of mouth (fitting!) and the site was experiencing a pretty brisk trade although it was not being actively promoted and was still in private beta testing.
The success of this site depends in part on the items available for review but, more importantly, the willingness of people testing these items to post their reviews. This site is not a retail site in the sense that you get to do your shopping here. It is a focus group of sorts and depends on subscribers publishing their thoughts on a product which will either lead to more sales for the merchant concerned or not. The point is to give that feedback. That being said, if subscribers publish their reviews this site could become a great place to get a sense for what works and what doesn’t work pretty cheaply. Products can be tested before they are launched and merchants can take the temperature of a segment of the market and see how existing products are doing. According to the FAQ, Cherrypicka’s intended subscribers include "early adopters, trend setters, bargain hunters, brand critics and people who love to discover new things". These are hopefully going to be the mavens who will get the word out about a product and contribute significantly to its ultimate success or failure.
The site features a feed which you can subscribe to and see which products are being made available on the site. Bloggers may be happy to know that there will be an affiliate program soon to help them get in on the action. The site is open for new registrations so head over to the site and give it a try. Once you’re done, why not let us know what you think?