The 18th Top 10 List from #851-900 in the Project
The finish line for reaching 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe is now firmly in sight.
Here’s the top entries from the latest crop of 50 examples:
10. #886 was submitted by Hank Blank of Adobe @HBatAdobe: Gigi’s Cupcakes
In Hank’s words:
Gigi’s Cupcakes makes some unbelievable cupcakes. Their purple goldfish includes giving you a dozen cupcakes for the price of 11.
And that’s pretty cool. But they recently provided me with a PURPLE WHALE sized goldfish.
I had ordered, and pre-paid, 60 cupcakes for my wife’s birthday party. When I arrived to get them, there were no cupcakes. The order had been misplaced. The clerk quickly got the owner on the phone.
1. Gave me a full refund for the 60 cupcakes (no small expense for a small store).
2. Gave me 60 cupcakes based on what was in stock (some that had been on my list, some that had not).
We were a little disappointed because some of our favorites were not available, but the cupcakes were a big hit at the party.
A prompt, painless resolution to an unfortunate situation. But it doesn’t end there.
Early the next week, I got a call from the owner, checking to see if the cupcakes for the party ended up working out. He then asked for my wife’s name and promptly sent her a gift certificate for a dozen more cupcakes!
I never raised my voice (sometimes its the squeeky wheel that gets the grease), and this small business owner not only did the right thing–he went above and beyond.
I will now (and am doing so here) recommend Gigi’s Cupcakes to anyone and everyone. Give them a shot–they are amazing.
9. #864. Taken from a tweet by @car_advice: Lexus
According to a Motorpassion report, Lexus is setting up a team of engineers throughout Europe who will attend broken-down LFA drivers in the quickest possible means, even if the use of a helicopter is required.
On top of this, the report says if the engineers are unable to fix the LFA on the spot, the driver will be given a Lexus GS 450h to borrow while the car is being fixed. It gets even better. Lexus is also said to be prepared to provide five-star accommodation to drivers during the time the car is being repaired.
8. #854 comes from Chris Zane and his book ‘Reinventing the Wheel’: Zane’s Cycles
Test Rides – Want to test a bike at Zane’s? You’re free to take it out for a ride. No credit card or drivers license required. Each year they lose a handful of bikes, but the small cost is insignificant compared to the trust gained and hassle avoided.
7. #871 is from Chevrolet
Chevrolet Cruze Warming Parties are a unique Chevrolet program where proud, new owners of a Cruze host a party at a local restaurant for up to 20 friends
#859. Wells Fargo submitted via e-mail by Steve Curtin: Wells Fargo
Stan, the other day I exchanged some coins at a Wells Fargo bank, using its automatic coin counter in the lobby. After all the coins are deposited, the counter totals the amount, printing two totals on a slip of paper that is to be presented to the teller for redemption. The first total reflects the total worth of the coins (e.g. $61.27). The second total reflects a 9% service fee deduction for non-customers (e.g. $55.76). Although I’m not a Wells Fargo customer, they’ve never given me the non-customer total in the three or four times I’ve used their coin counter in the past couple of years. It’s a 9% “little extra” that I’ve noticed and appreciated.
6. #892 was recommended by Eric Fletcher from a post by Laura Click on the blog SocialCMO: Dunn Brothers Coffee
In Laura’s words:
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Dunn Brother’s coffee. I have blogged about them before and often tweet about my love of their vanilla iced nirvana or coconut lattes.
But as much as I love Dunn Brothers, I can’t always sneak away from the office to get a cup of their sweet, delicious coffee.
A few weeks ago, I lamented on Twitter about how I could really use a cup of coffee and that I wished Dunn Brothers delivered. They responded and asked where my office was located and said they might just surprise me some day.
Well, yesterday was that day!
The owner of the store, Fawn, showed up with a growler of Infinite Black, their cold-pressed coffee, a bottle of vanilla syrup, cream and a few cups with ice in them – everything I needed to make my own vanilla iced nirvana and share with friends!
I was impressed. I was already a raving fan, but this just took my loyalty through the roof.
The genius part about this is that the growler they gave me is refillable. When I bring it in, I can get it filled up with cold-pressed coffee for $10. So, not only did they reward my loyalty, they gave me another reason to come back into the store. Brilliant.
Rewarding your loyal customers and clients will pay off in dividends. If you do something to make your customers feel special, you won’t be able to stop them from spreading the word.
Want to make your loyal customers feel like royalty? Here are some things to keep in mind:
■Pay attention to preferences. Take time to really get to know your customers. Find out what they like, don’t like and what makes them tick. Dunn Brothers knew knew which beverage I liked because I tweeted about it before. You have to take time to listen and have an ear for catching cues that your customers give.
■Do something unexpected. People love surprises, so offer a gesture when they least expect it. Don’t wait around for the holidays to do something special. Throw in something extra with their next order, drop by their office with some fun treats or send them tickets to that concert they’ve been talking about.
■Go over the top. Dunn Brothers could have just brought me a beverage. But, they took it a step further by giving me a kit that will last me for days. And, it was hand-delivered from the owner. If you want to make an impression, be bold. Go big. Your customers will love you for it.
■Don’t turn it into a sales push. It’s awfully tempting to throw in a sales pitch or a discount coupon with your kind gesture, but don’t. It will only backfire. Do something nice without the expectation of anything in return. I promise you that your clients and customers will talk about it without you asking them to. And, if you do it right, they’ll keep coming back for more.
■Give something shareable. People love to share stories about gifts and prizes, so why not give something your clients something they can share? Dunn Brothers gave me some extra cups of ice so I could share my cool treat with friends. Think I told them about what happened? You bet I did! Give something that clients can share with co-workers, friends or family members and you’ve just built in an automatic way for them to spread the word about you.
5. #857. Submitted by e-mail from Rene Milligan: Always Care
In Rene’s words:
Thanks for the Tweet mention today. I was doing some research for our company’s current ad campaign, and stumbled across your Purple Goldfish blog. I am shocked I didn’t see it sooner.
Please see our current ad, attached, for some of the “lagniappe” we offer our customers. And please follow the link to our Lagniappe landing page: http://www.alwayscare.biz/lagniappe/
Our lagniappe is not exactly “little” things (a FREE Health Advocacy Program that helps insurance clients steer through medical claims, referrals, coordination of benefits, etc. is pretty significant), but compared to the actual product purchased (critical illness insurance policy), you can see that our lagniappe really is an add-on, the relative equivalent of a thirteenth donut.
Anyway, we offer lagniappe with each of our products:
– Dental and Vision insurance customers get FREE personalized ID cards with a list of the participating network providers closest to their home.
– Life and Disability insurance customers get a FREE employee assistance program with face-to-face counseling sessions (financial, legal, or just social), to help deal with loss of a loved one or ability.
– Critical Illness and Accident insurance customers get the health advocacy program mentioned above FREE.
– And EVERY customer gets FREE access to our Hearing Savings Plan, which offers significant discounts on hearing equipment, hearing aid batteries, and phone counseling with hearing professionals.
We also do an “initial bill review” (trial bill) for each of our group customers when they set up a new product with us. It helps catch errors in insurance plan enrollment, eligibility, dependent status, and beneficiary BEFORE a group’s first bill is sent. Saves so many headaches for benefit plan administrators! Seems simple, but none of our competitors, that we know of, do this.
Sort of like Zappo’s free two-way shipping or Doubletree’s chocolate chip cookies, these features are add-ons that add satisfaction to our clients’ benefit experience, and help keep them as our clients (sticky!).
4. #898 in the Project is taken from a blog post by Jon Hammond: La Senza
In Jon’s words:
In the Gulf Coast area of the United States especially around Louisiana, they have a tradition that has been around for hundreds of years. A ‘Lagniappe’ is a small unexpected gift added to a purchase in a gracious gesture that creates both warmth and surprise.
I have recently been reading Theo Paphitis’s book, ‘Enter the Dragon’ where he describes one of the key elements of La Senza’s (a lingerie retailer in the UK) success being down to the way purchases were treated. They didn’t just throw it into a bag. The item would be carefully wrapped in tissue, some beads added, then beautifully boxed and tied with a ribbon.
To me this is an excellent example of ‘Lagniappe’ in action.
OK, it no doubt costs a little more in packaging and time, but when you think about the benefits of how the customer feels when they walk out with something precious, it makes sound business sense.
3. #868 is submitted by Mary Ann Baehr: Broadway Grille
FROM a friend in CA……Broadway Grille in Burlingame offers FREE LIMO pick up and return for Burlingame residents….my friend has used it many times and says it’s ALWAYS a big hit with visiting guests….. Limo Lagniappe!
2. #877 is taken from a blogpost at Steve Cody’s RepMan: Great Wolf Lodge
This guest blog was authored by former Peppercommer, Isaac Farbowitz, who now makes a living selling medical supplies.
All too often, brands fail to live up to their names and promises as loyal RepMan readers know. However, this past weekend I had an amazing experience where a brand lived up to every bit of its name and I wanted to share it as an example of a company “getting it right.”
When it became clear on Thursday of last week that Irene was going to poke her ugly head into the Tri-State area over the weekend, my wife and I decided to pack up our six kids and head west to the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. We weren’t taking any chances with falling trees, flooded streets and heavy rain, not to mention six kids with no TV, computer or Wii!
The weather wasn’t that bad in the Poconos through Sunday around noon and we assumed we escaped the worst of it. But around noon, the winds really kicked up and within minutes the power was out in the hotel. And with no power comes a closed water park, no arcades and not much to do in a hotel for kids- at least not in any hotel not named Great Wolf Lodge!
Within minutes of the power going out, there were announcements that there was a power outage and that the hotel was working with the power company to restore it and get an estimated time it would be back. They then announced that there were backup generators for the lobby and hallways and that there would be a movie for kids showing in the lobby ASAP.
While the movie was playing, they handed out bottled water, chips, cookies and many snacks to all the kids and literally had every staff member handing out beer, wine and soda to all the adults. Once the movie was over, they put on Wii dancing and had hundreds of people dancing with staff members in the lobby. (The picture in this blog is a photo I took of the dancing- four of the kids are mine). The site of adults and kids dancing in a lobby during a hurricane was surreal but no one was complaining about the lack of power or the weather.
After dancing, the hotel announced that power should be restored in the next two hours and they had a whole dinner buffet set up (free of charge) for all guests including hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads and drinks for all to enjoy. Once dinner ended, another movie was put on for kids and shortly thereafter the power was restored.
Great Wolf Lodge clearly had a plan in place to deal with a potential power outage and they executed it to perfection! Not one guest was complaining and many were seen thanking the hotel staff for doing their best to make it the best day possible given the conditions. Every staff member had a smile on their face as they fielded questions and they did everything they could to make it a GREAT day for guests in spite of the hand they were dealt.
And the kicker to show just how well Great Wolf Lodge handled the storm- when we were checking out we were talking to a staff member who asked our kids “what was the best part of the trip” and the kids response: “movies and dancing in the lobby when there was no power.” Great Wolf lived up to its name in a great way!
. . . and the #1 on the eighteenth ‘Top 10′ List:
1. #876 is taken from a blogpost by Roy & Ren: Capital Grille
For Roy’s Birthday this year, I surprised him (& Ria) with tickets to “Mamma Mia!” We made a day out if it in NYC, and decided on The Capital Grille for the celebratory Birthday dinner. We had always wanted to go there, and boy, were we glad we did! They really made it a special and scrumptious Birthday for Roy!
When we arrived, we had an inkling of how special they were going to make the evening, when the hostess asked which one of us was Roy, and wished him a Happy Birthday! I had mentioned in the reservation on Open Table, and they not only noticed, but it seemed everyone there knew it was Roy’s Birthday and made sure to give him their well wishes! Nice!
We were then escorted to our table, and on the crisp white tablecloth, there was shiny Birthday confetti and a Birthday card from The Capital Grille! Wow! Now we knew for sure this was going to be an extra special dinner! But the treats didn’t stop there! Our server, Sonny, came over and introduced himself, and not only wished Roy a Happy Birthday, but also brought over a complimentary champagne toast for all three of us!
Sonny was a delight, and was so knowledgeable on the entire menu, and really helped us to make our selections. He also did some nice finishing touches to make Roy’s Birthday even MORE special – but more on that later. You all want to hear about the food, I’m sure!
Next, it was time for Sonny to add more to the specialness of the evening. He brought over a digital camera and took our picture and then proceeded to come back, moments later, with a printed photo in a nice paper frame to commemorate the special evening! Again – Wow! And then, as if The Capital Grille hadn’t already done so much to ensure a special evening, they brought over the yummiest Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake for Roy’s Birthday – again, on the house!! It was full of dense, chocolaty goodness, a perfect wrap up to our meal!
The Capital Grille, really went above & beyond, to make it a very special Birthday dinner for Roy. In addition to the food being excellent, the service was one of the friendliest we have experienced to date in an expensive restaurant! To top off the evening, after dinner, we walked down the street to see “Mamma Mia!” for Roy’s birthday surprise! Its a great show (especially from the third row!) and since it’s so close, you could make an evening out of both, like we did! You will definitely have a great time at The Capital Grille!