Dunn Brothers delivers the unexpected little extra to its fans


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#892 in the Project was recommended by Eric Fletcher from a post by Laura Click on the blog SocialCMO:

dunn bros coffeeIn Laura’s words with some sage lessons at the end:

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway – True lagniappe is based on gift economy principles. Giving, beyond the transaction, with no immediate expectation of return. Laura nails this with her last tip.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure): Dunn Brothers Coffee takes great pride in its coffee from the way that it is made to the people who make it. Here’s a short video from a recent trip to El Salavador. It explains many of the steps in the coffee production process, from picking and depulping to drying and sorting. There’s so much to learn about how coffee gets from the farm to your cup:

Where is the lagniappe in your marketing? What’s Your Purple Goldfish?

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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.


  1. Great article Stan. I really like your simple tips. I’ve recently been introduced to the Dunn Brothers team and they drive their loyalty approach from the top asking themselves how they can surprise and delight the very special kinds of customers that shop their stores. One example is the mobile payment app the company is installing across its platform. Simple, easy to use and also very in tune with what a tech savvy customer would want.

    Very impressed! (disclosure, I just joined their board as well)


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