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Promote Your Product Quickly by Tapping the Internet's Influencers

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This story appears in the June 2013 issue of Start Up.

In 2009, when Jason Carignan and his partners launched the Vapur Anti-Bottle, they made a concerted PR effort to get exposure for the product from traditional media. And it worked. The Today show featured the Vapur, a reusable, foldable water pouch with a variety of spout options, and within 60 days the new company had sold out of its first production run of 10,000.

A nice success story to be sure, but Carignan's true surprise came from the blogosphere--that raucous, untamable collection of independent influencers who write about stuff they love for audiences of several thousand, or even millions. One such influencer was The Grommet (formerly Daily Grommet), a Boston-based product-launch platform filled with unique, previously undiscovered offerings. "They produced a story about the Anti-Bottle, built a store for it, filled it with content and made it very personal," Carignan says. "It wasn't a simple, anonymous referral like you see on Amazon."

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