Purple Goldfish Hall of Famers: Class of 2011

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2011 has been a tremendous year at the Purple Goldfish Project. We’ve passed 900 on the stretch run to crowdsourcing 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe.

Here are ten brands that embrace the concept of ‘marketing lagniappe’ and have earned entrance into the Hall:

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. DisneyIn 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 CyclesChris 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.

In case you missed it last year, here’s the inaugural Hall of Fame Class:

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

3. TD BankA 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 FriesExtra fries, an extra handful or two with each order.

6. Zappos – Surprise complimentary upgradeof 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.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little unexpected extra thrown in for good measure) – Sometimes you need that little something extra that gets you to 11. That little extra push over the cliff according Christopher Guest, a.k.a Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap:

Lagniappe defined: A marketing lagniappe, i.e. purple goldfish, is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure.

How do you stand out in the sea of sameness? How do you win repeat customers and influence word of mouth?

What’s Your Purple Goldfish? Book coming 1.11.12

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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