Being a new media and a challenge to old perceptions, requires a lengthy sales cycle but no matter, over the next year or so, I would loved to be faced with the prospect of working on an awrad-winning campaign for the following brands (or types of brands):
1) Beer - having worked for three beer companies, you realize this is my blood. Three types I would love to work on and know WOM would be exceptionally responsive too: a premium brand (like Guinness, Stella or Grolsch) that have real stories to tell with real provenance and a differentiated product/package, a counterculture, independent brand (like Steam Whistle, Boris or Big Rock) or an obscure retro, brand of the underdog - Pabst Blue Ribbon or a Labatt 50 in English Canada would be the sweetspot.
2) Tech - take your pick but haven seen the RIM guys just win CEOs of the year, to create a Blackberry community would have so many different flanges and benefits, it makes me schoolboy giddy with excitement.
3) Fashion and Style - lululemon is the wonder girl of word of mouth , I feel personally vested by telling my wife to try them and advocate them right when they were just getting a toehold in the Toronto market - if it makes you feel good and look good then it will make you buzz good.
4) Cars - not just any "it could be a Taurus or Sable me too" brand, working on a car that considers itself a tribe would be a coup - Prius for the greens, Jeep for the mudders, MIni for the show-and -tellers, BMW, Audi or Mercedes for the hiugh flyers or a number of other hungry underdog brands with different automotive cult enthusiasts would be special and bankable as a marketing activity.
5) Retail - what I would give to do a campaign for Mountain Equipment Coop - great values, great fandom, wonderful product and great retail experience and extended experience -- please call me, will work for product. Holt Renfrew, Lush and Sony Store would be three other prime candidates
6) Books - for a certain audience, books are the escape from the everyday that you just have to share with others -- a literal word of mouth buzz generation factory could be built for a forward-thinking book company.
7) Games - whether they are board based or console-based, there is an underlying instinctive reason why these industries have sucked billions of dollars and oodles of time from all stripes of life - we're obsessed with "play" - within even the straightest living person exists a MMORPG or trivia buff waiting to get out.
8) Beauty Care - brands in this space are selling magic in a bottle , believe me when I was a young punk of a Brand Manager on Noxzema and Clearasil - the product was more than just the brand I worked on --- when you find a great one like some great mass products - (see L'Oreal and Dove word of mouth success) or great niche products (Body Shop and Kiehls are faves) you will evangelize from the tallest soapbox.
9) Non-Profits - an inherent word of mouth advantage - most causes and charities already have a built up following - you look at the Brest Cancer Walk for the Cure, Pink Ribbon or Team in Training and you'll uncover some of the fiercest loyal flagbearers for any brand that's been invented.
10) Food - if we put it on our body, we likely have something to say about it and based on fact that everybody has to eat everyday - word of mouth can even make broccoli sing.
11) Banks - this may appear like "one of these things is not like the other" - I would love to incubate a word of mouth culture and program in one of the most traditional and corporate forms of busienss as a litmus test to prove that if it could work and thrive here, it could work anywhere.
Of course, with a profit-seeking motive...if your reading this and are in another industry, your business is happily invited here.