The Fourth Ingredient of a Purple Goldfish (Expression) – Chapter 10


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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 10 and the fourth of the ingredients or R.U.L.E.S]

The How of Marketing Lagniappe


The fourth of the r.u.l.e.s is ‘expression’. Expression speaks to ‘how you give’ as opposed to ‘what you give’. A purple goldfish is a beacon. It’s a sign that shows you care. That little extra touch demonstrates that the customer matters.

Let’s look a few examples:

Oh Steward . . . there is a dinosaur in my room

carnival cruise towel animals

One of the signature elements of staying in a state room on a Carnival Cruise is the towel animals. Every night guests return to find one of the 40 different types of animals. A cruise favorite, the folks at a Carnival create about 7 million a year. That’s a lot of folding.

About 5 years ago Carnival released a book called, “Carnival Towel Creations”. The 88 pages encompass a ‘how to’ manual on towel animal making. Think it’s easy? New stewards @ Carnival spend 10 hours of formal training to master the art of the fold.

One of the things that I like about the towel animals is how Carnival has leveraged them across their various touchpoints. They’ve been the focus of advertising, PR, direct mail and online. These towel animals have ‘legs’.

Belt Buckles and a Post-it note

This is taken from a post by Drew McLellan from Drew’s Marketing Minute:

“I am . . .

A frequent traveler

A wee bit impatient

All about efficiency

So it shouldn’t surprise you that I have my travel routine down to a science. I can pack for any trip in less than 10 minutes.

I own a TSA approved messenger bag so I don’t have to take my laptop out when I got through security. I always wear slip on shoes. And I just ordered TSA approved belts so I can scoot through the scanner without having to de and re-belt. (or accidentally dropping trou.)

When the belts from BeepFreeProducts arrived, I was pretty pumped to open the package. This was the final tweak to my travel ensemble. (I know… I can’t help it. Don’t judge me!) But when I dug past the packaging, I found more than the belts.

There was also a handwritten post it note thanking me for my order and saying that they’d included a couple extra belt buckles so I’d have some variety to choose from.

Drew thank you note

On a simple post it note. Nothing pre-printed, nothing fancy. Just a note from Jim.

It probably cost him 2 minutes to jot the note. But I felt the love. Why?

It was unexpected: This was my first order from the company so I had no real expectations. I hadn’t spent a huge amount of money and they don’t have a super sexy website, product etc. So I wasn’t expecting the creativity and the personal touch.

It was personal: If it had been a pre-printed card, it probably wouldn’t have been as memorable or noteworthy. He addressed the note to me, not “dear customer or sir.” Whether it’s true or not, I felt like Jim really did want me to have those extra buckles. He really cared that I could mix and match my buckles.

Many people believe that creating a lasting love affair with your customers is going to be incredibly expensive. It doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can’t buy their love. If you try too hard or it feels like you are throwing money at it, rather than throwing your heart into it, it will backfire. Instead of them feeling your love, they’ll feel a little cheap, like you think they can be bought. But let Jim’s post it note remind us all that it’s the heart that counts, not the cost.”

It’s not about the Money

3 examples from BMW, Les Schwab Tires and The Four Seasons . . . Total Cost = $0


#190. BMW of Darien [courtesy of Jack Sarsen]

When I dropped my car off for service, I had to move 2 car seats to the loaner. Upon my return, a service guy, obviously recognizing the number on the car, walks out to the loaner as soon as I parked and told me to hold tight. Within a minute my car pulled up and two service guys helped me make the car seat switch with my small children in tow. Another walked out and handed me my paperwork and said ‘Thank you, have a nice day’.

#17. Les Schwab Tires [From Cody Goldberg]

The service people jog to your car when you pull in to the service center.

#192. Four Seasons Hotel [From Stephanie Hadden]

When you check in, the front desk attendant will walk around to the front of the counter and hand you your key while using your name and anticipating your every need. This customer service costs them nothing extra but makes you feel like a million bucks.

Marketing Takeaway: You don’t have to tap into $$$ to go that little extra. Being quick, responsive and alert with your customer service can make all the difference with your customers.

[Next Up is Chapter 11. Sticky – the fifth and last ingredient of a purple goldfish]

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra for good measure) – Here is an instructional video on towel origami. This one is for an elephant. It’s only been watched 362,437 times:

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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