Purple Goldfish Hall of Famers 2013


Share on LinkedIn

purple goldfish hall of famers

Introducing the PG Hall of Fame – Class of 2013

It’s time for another nine brands to blaze a path into the Purple Goldfish Project Hall of Fame. Companies that embrace the concept of “lagniappe” and have earned entrance into the Hall:

Here’s the slideshare:

chick fil a customers in training1. Chick-fil-A – This QSR (political and religious views notwithstanding) epitomizes marketing by giving little unexpected extras (g.l.u.e) to customers. They are a five time entrant into the Purple Goldfish Project at #125, #641, #814, #841 and #1,028. Perhaps my favorite, a little extra for “Customers in Training.” Take an infant or toddler to Chick-fil-a… no problem. They provide little cups of Cheerios.

2. Wells Fargo – Wells Fargo understands the importance of servicing the needs of their current customers to fuel growth. Nearly eighty percent of Wells Fargo revenue growth comes from selling more products to existing customers. The average Wells Fargo customer carries over five products which is more than two times the industry average.

3. Safelite – Safelite is committed to doing the little extras. Their ambition is “To Create Service So Great, It’s Memorable.” Click here to read one of my favorite stories from What’s Your Purple Goldfish.

panera-purple-goldfish4. Panera – Panera enters with the heartwarming tale of a store manager who used good judgement to help the dying grandmother of a customer. Making soup and sending along cookies for good measure.

5. Apple – Free engraving, stickers and the amazing One to One program are just a few extras from the tech giant. Add in the Genius Bar and ease of payment on the maintenance side of the equation.

6. Plaza CleanersPlaza will clean someone’s suit for free if they’re unemployed and need the suit for a job interview. A great little extra to give back to the community.

7. Liberty Tax – Free fun snacks and a play area for kids make waiting a breeze at this leader in tax preparation.

8. Enterprise – Added value in four words, We’ll Pick You Up. They’ll drop you off as well.

9. Nurse Next Door – When this home healthcare provider screws up, they send a handwritten note and a freshly baked apple pie to apologize. Literally a humble pie. Each year they spend roughly $1,500 on pies and equate that to saving up to $100,000 in potential lost business.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here are the first three classes in the Purple Goldfish Hall of Fame:

Class of 2012

jack-mitchell-thank-you1. Mitchells – located in Westport, CT this clothing retailer is powered by service and doing the ‘little extras’. Every interaction is looked at through the lens of engagement with an aim towards increasing retention. One shining example is the practice of following up with customers with handwritten notes. Jack Mitchell, author of Hug Your Customers, wrote nearly 2,000 notes last year.

pg hall of famers 2012Pizza Shuttle Purple Goldfish2. Pizza Shuttle – located in Milwaukee, WI Pizza Shuttle has a handful of signature extras. My favorite is the “The Largest Pie in Wisconsin” a veritable $39.95 gut buster.  According to an article by Josh McDonald it looks like they throw in the ice cream as an added lagniappe.

1001-examples-of-lagniappe-13. Besito – Maybe the most creative Purple Goldfish in the entire Project. Besito gives away churros and worry dolls at the end of the meal. Legend has it that you tell one worry to each doll. You then put the dolls under your pillow and in the morning the dolls will have taken your worries away.

4. IKEA – The little extras are baked into IKEA’s model. They epitomize high value and low maintenance. Free childcare at Smaland, free breakfast, low cost signature meals like swedish meatballs and a slew of low cost items help place IKEA into the Hall.

5. Kiehl’s – One of the 12 types of purple goldfish is sampling. Kiehl’s embraces sampling and takes it to the next level. They give away 10 million each year. Customers are entitled to three samples with their first order. They make it easy to sample, even offering the opportunity to call for free samples.

michael lynne's tennis shop6. Michael Lynne’s – ML’s is a family owned Minneapolis based tennis specialty retailer. Michael and Mimzy embrace the concept of giving little unexpected extras. Free racquet demos and a complimentary can of tennis balls with each restringing lead the way.

taranta-qr-codes7. Taranta – Chef Jose Duarte not only has one of the greenest restaurants in America, but he stands out through his use of technology. In order to showcase his use of fresh local seafood, Duarte uses squid ink to place a QR code on the plate. Diners can scan the code and track the origin of the catch through a site calledTrace and Trust.

L.L. Bean guarantees8. L.L. Bean – With Maine retailer L.L. Bean “NO” isn’t a bad thing.  In fact when it comes to free shipping and guarantees, they turn a negative into a positive?  This Hall of Famer offers no minimums on orders for free shipping and no end date on guarantees.  They throw in “no conditions” for lagniappe.

Peter Millar purple goldfish9. Peter Millar – Attention to detail and a little something extra in the box earn fashion brand Peter Millar a place in the Hall of Fame. At this golf and lifestyle brand they remember the mints. Each order comes with a tin of mints. In addition they place each order into the box by the corresponding order on the packing list. This improves consistency and makes the inventory process simple for the customer.

Class of 2011

1. Trader Joe’s – 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 always bound to be something just as great coming down the pike. Purple Goldfish examples have included the stuffed whale, the miniature carts and hawaiian shirts worn by the staff.

2011 hall of famers

2. Nordstrom – Do the unexpected little extra to satisfy your customers. Case in point: splitting shoe sizes speaks volumes about Nordstrom’s beginnings as a shoe store and its commitment to the customer experience.

3. Starbucks – Clean bathrooms, WiFi (finally), free iTunes music downloads, a comfortable atmosphere and sampling earns Captain Ahab’s mate a spot in the Hall of Fame.

4. Disney – In Walt’s words, “The goal at Disney is to always give the people more than they expect. As long as we keep surprising them, they’ll keep coming back. But if they ever stop coming, it’ll cost us ten times that much to get them to come back.”  Disney calls this the ‘PLUS’ factor.

5. Four Seasons – Little things like walking around the desk to present a room key, crystal pineapples in Hawaii and providing a guest with their own CHOP (stamp) in Singapore.

6. JetBlue – ‘You Above All’ deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame.  The brand was founded on the concept of doing the little extras to bring sanity to air travel.  Extra such as ‘the most legroom in coach’, 36 channels of DirecTV, full cans of soda, unlimited brand name snacks, one free checked bag and leather seats.

7. Izzy’s – this St. Paul ice cream shop redefined the meaning of sampling for customers.  Each scoop of ice cream purchased entitles the bearer to an IZZY, a small scoop for free. The shop is also notable for its interesting use of RFID tags.

8. Amazon – one of my absolute favorites in the Project is Amazon’s ‘frustration free packaging’.  Add in free video streaming with Amazon Prime.

9. Whole Foods – an early and often entrant into the Purple Goldfish Project, Whole Foods does the little things liking offering ice with your meat and seafood to make a difference.

10. Zane’s Cycles – Chris Zane understands ‘lifetime value’ and giving the customer added little extras. He has a dozen separate programs like the lifetime tune-ups designed to differentiate his shop, reduce attrition and drive positive word of mouth.

Inaugural HOF Class of 2010:

purple goldfish hall of fame1. Doubletree Hotels – A warm welcome (literally)with the Doubletree chocolate chip cookie. They’ve given over 200 million to customers at check-in.

2. Stew Leonard’s – Buy $100 or more in groceries and receive a free ice cream or cup of coffee from the World’s Largest Dairy Store.

3. TD Bank – A penny arcade in the lobby. Free coin exchange for both customers and guests.

4. Southwest Airlines – ‘Bags Fly Free’. No fees for two checked bags, saving customers up to $120 on a round trip.

5. Five Guys Burgers and Fries – Extra fries, an extra handful or two with each order.

6. Zappos – Surprise complimentary upgrade of shipping.

7. Lexus – Great amenities while you wait, plus a car wash and vacuum

8. Kimpton Hotels – Lonely travelers get some ‘Guppy Love’. Select Kimpton properties will provide you with a goldfish during your stay.

9. AJ Bombers – Free peanuts for customers delivered to each table through the air by a P-nut bomber.

How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth? Are you Giving Little Unexpected Extras?

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.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here