#10 of 12 types of Purple Goldfish (Convenience) – Chapter 21


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[Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing excerpts as we work towards completing the manuscript for ‘What’s Your Purple Goldfish?’. Today is Chapter 21, the tenth of 12 different types of Purple Goldfish]

The 10th of the 12 types of purple goldfish surrounds the idea of ‘convenience’. A little unexpected extra that makes things easier for your customers.

Let’s look at a bunch of examples:

whole foods ice

Ice, Ice Baby

Simple, yet an effective and noteworthy little extra

Whole Foods enters the Purple Goldfish Project at #22 from Claire Gallo:

“I live in West Hartford, CT. When you shop at Whole Foods and buy fish, meat or poultry . . . the folks at Whole Foods will offer to give you ice for free. Very nice touch, especially if you have other errands or plan to shop around town.”

Find the stuffed monkey

trader joe'sJody Padar of Matousek Consulting submits Trader Joe’s as #320 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

“The stuffed whale that hides at Trader Joe’s. If you find him, your child gets a treat out of a treasure box. Then you get to rehide him. My kids love to go to Trader Joe’s to find the stuffed animal. It keeps them entertained while shopping. Hint: He spends a lot of time in the snack food isle. “

Miniature shopping carts for the kids

trader joe's shopping carts#591 in the Purple Goldfish Project was submitted by Jennifer Phelps.

“TJ’s has baby shopping carts. Great way to keep our two boys busy when we go shopping. They get such a kick out of pushing their own carts”

Trader Joe’s was originally submitted to the Project by Amy DeRobertis. In Amy’s words:

There’s a fun theme going on here — from Giuseppe Joe’s to Trader Jose’s, the notion of no middle man is seen on its product labels as well as in the mentality of its Hawaiian shirt wearing ‘associates.’ And the ongoing bevy of free samples at its dedicated sampling stations keeps you interested in the constantly evolving choices and happy rather than devastated when your favorite entree goes missing. There’s bound to be something just as great coming down the pike.

Since that submission TJ’s has surfaced a few more times. A couple examples like the one above were squarely focused on kids and creating a fun environment. #320 discussed how Trader Joe’s hides a stuffed whale. Kids who spot the whale and inform an associate for a prize from the treasure chest.

Kudos to TJ for thinking about the little things for the little ones . . . convenience makes a big difference.

amazon frustration free packaginAmazon repels clamshell casings and wire ties

Submitted by Adam Brett

“The frustrating free packaging is a brilliant idea. I’m sure having your little ones you have battled the wires before trying to open up a gift Click here to check out the program http://www.amazon.com/b/?&node=1289004011

[Notes on the Packaging: The Certified Frustration-Free Package is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties. It’s designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging (on the right). Products with Frustration-Free Packaging can frequently be shipped in their own boxes, without an additional shipping box.]

TD Bank is rife with lagniappe

Jim Donofrio pointed out this school of purple goldfish for the Project:

#454. Open 7 days in an effort to be America’s Most Customer Friendly bank

#455. Green pens with the TD Bank logo. They can be found everywhere . . . from a local restaurant to large scale charity event

#456. Penny Arcade. The first thing you see when you walk through the door. Change your pennies into dollars for free. Customers and Non Customers are welcome

#457. No barriers between you and the tellers within the bank. This promotes a friendly atmosphere

#458. Green lollipops for the kids and dog biscuits for Rover . . . everyone leaves with a smile on their face and a wagging tail

Save your spare change

A recession, job loss and higher costs of living could be pressuring people to save the money they usually toss by the wayside – spare change.

How so, you ask? Consider the following:

Costumers seem to be using TD Bank’s coin counting machine more and more. We even know of a New Jersey resident who saved $7,000 in coins to help his kids go to college. The Penny Arcade Machine is free for TD Bank customers and many say they use the Penny Arcade to teach kids about saving. If you’d like to learn about how people are using Penny or fun ways they bring their coins into the store, please let us know.

Reaping the rewards of convenience

#716 in the Project was submitted by James Mayer, a fellow brother from America’s oldest professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. He recommended a post from Jim Taggart at the blog Changing Winds:

TD Bank and their extra days and hours

td bankHere is an excerpt:

As [CEO Ed] Clark expressed in an interview with the Financial Post Magazine (February 2011):

“…the great thing about our model is if I put a branch on a corner in New York City, I know five years later I will have more than 25% of the local business, because at some time in that five years someone will come by at 4:02 pm. Their branch will be closed, they’ll look across at our store, this beautiful store, there will be someone giving dog biscuits to somebody’s dog, they’ll walk in and there’s a greeter that’s unbelievably friendly, and they’ll say, ‘So why am I banking at the guy across the street?’

On Sundays we send our bankers out to all the small businesses and say, ‘You’re open, we’re open, and you bank with the bank that’s closed.’…It’s a very simple concept: Just be open longer and give better service.” Clark also noted, for example, that their branch at 2 Wall Street, which opened five years ago, now has US1 billion in deposits.”

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: Be open, convenient and give better service. Words to live by.

Curbside service makes pick-up a drive by

#306 in the Project is submitted by co-pilot Social Jack Campisi:

thai basil greenwich aveThai Basil in Greenwich, CT is a Purple Goldfish. Not only do they have great Thai food, but excellent service as well.

Their lagniappe is the curbside pick-up. They are located on a busy and crowed stretch of road in downtown Greenwich. Parking at dinner time can be a nightmare, and could prevent you from even attempting take-out. Well, have no fear. You can give them your credit card number when you place your order and then give them a call when you are pulling up to the restaurant.

You pullover and they will run out, hand you your food through your window and let you sign your receipt right in your car. And they always do it with a big smile. In no time you are back home, enjoying a nice meal.” (If you go and you like some heat, try the Spicy Fried Rice)

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: Thai Basil understands the importance of access and convenience when take out is concerned. Here they’ve turned a bad parking situation into a positive by running out with the food and your receipt. A little something extra indeed.

Purple Goldfish Swim in Schools

A school of purple goldfish in the Project comes courtesy of Dan Oltersdorf at Campus Advantage.

Some fantastic examples from Dan which land at #464 to #468. As a former RA (both undergrad and grad) I especially like #1. Anything you can do to make move in easier goes a long way.

Taken from his blog post, here is Dan’s contribution:

Thanks to @barrymoltz, I just read the @9INCHMarketing ebook: “In Search of Your Purple Goldfish” by Stan Phelps. It is brief (only 38 pages), and it is worth the read.

Unlike my “Puking Baby Policy”, the concept of a Purple Goldfish is something that CAN be proceduralized. In fact, that is a key ingredient. A Purple Goldfish is something every customer gets…

I won’t try to give you the entire concept (read the book, and add your ideas to the Purple Goldfish Project!), but in essence, the “purple goldfish” is something above and beyond that you consistently give to your customer that sets you apart.

Think of Southwest (your bags fly free), the “baker’s dozen”, the warm cookies you get every time you check into a DoubleTree hotel, or for those of you who have ordered from Zappos, their VIP upgrade with free overnight shipping after your 2nd order.

Phelps contends there is no such thing as ‘meeting expectations,’ in customer service anymore. We either fail to meet expectations, or we exceed them. Meeting them is a thing of the past and it is NOT ENOUGH.

Read the eBook and think about what your purple goldfish are. Here are some ideas from some Campus Advantage properties to get you started:

  1. Move-ins… Having cold water and snacks in the apartments for people as they are moving in. Having a dedicated staff member during the move-ins whose job is simply to hand out ice pops on a hot day.
  2. Door to door package delivery… instead of making residents come to the front desk, we deliver packages to them at their room or apartment
  3. Milk & cookie carts during finals week
  4. Every team member, from CA to porter to GM provides a friendly greeting 100% of the time to any person we encounter on a property, prospect or resident
  5. Concierge booklet at the front desk with everything from pizza delivery numbers to who to call if you are struggling in your physics class.

These are just a few to get you started… ask yourself, what will stand out? What will people tell stories about?

What else are you doing that qualifies as a “purple goldfish?” What else SHOULD you be doing that will make you stand out?

[Next Up is Chapter 22. ‘Special Needs’ – the eleventh of the 12 different types of purple goldfish]

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra for good measure) – Check out this catchy jingle for Trader Joe’s:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing. 9 INCH helps organizations develop custom solutions around both customer and employee experience. Stan believes the 'longest and hardest nine inches' in marketing is the distance between the brain and the heart of your customer. He is the author of Purple Goldfish, Green Goldfish and Golden Goldfish.


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