Easter eggs: a marketing feature

Easter eggs can be a great tool to market your product. I believe it can help marketers in a couple of unique ways. First, it can provide you a way to give exclusive information about something in the product to a select group of mavens, hence increasing their loyalty towards your brand. Second, it can get the customers talking about your product. A word of mouth buzz started by mavens could be more powerful than any advertising you do for the product.

Here’s an example of how you can use Easter eggs: put a feature in your online software product or service that can be discovered by pressing a certain combination of keyboard keys. Even better, put a product feature that is suggested by the community as an Easter egg in early beta stage of the feature development. Leak information to the mavens on how to discover the feature and let them test it. Mavens will love to talk about it generating a great positive wave for the product in the community. Get feedback from the community and keep improving the feature till you reach a point where the feature is ready to be added to the core (non Easter egg) of the product. It is important to acknowledge contribution of the community members with respect to the feature. This will make them proud of it and encourage future community participation.

The entire objective is to give something differentiable enough for the community to talk about and discuss. In the market, there is always something out there that is as good as, if not better than, your product. What you need is a way to differentiate your offering from the others…and Easter eggs, if used in the right way, is one way to attain this objective.

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