The ingredients or r.u.l.e.s for creating little unexpected extras – Chapter 7


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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 7]

Making lagniappe is like making jambalaya

Have you ever made jambalaya? It’s a bunch of different ingredients all thrown in together. The chef takes a look at what’s lying around in the kitchen and throws it all into a pot. Let it stew with some spices thrown in and voila . . you have a yourself a jambalaya or purple goldfish.

lagniappe rules

Here are the five main ingredients or if you are acronym fan (like I am), the R.U.L.E.S :

Relevant – the item or benefit should be of value to the recipient.

Unexpected – the extra benefit or gift should be a surprise. It is something thrown in for good measure.

Limited – if it’s a small token or gift, try to select something that’s rare, hard to find or unique to your business.

Expression – many times it comes down to the gesture. It becomes more about ‘how’ it is given, as opposed to ‘what’ is given.

Sticky – Is it memorable enough that the person will want to share their experience by telling a friend or three hundred?

Keeping it relevant

The first rule and probably the most ingredient for a purple goldfish is relevancy. If its just a throw in or SWAG (stuff we all get), it probably is not that relevant. It needs to be something that is valued by your customer. Let’s look a few examples:

I wonder what that NEW car might look like in my driveway???

The Overnight Test Drive: BMW

I was driving up to New Haven on I-95. I noticed an interesting billboard from BMW of Bridgeport. It was fairly simple purple goldfish:

bmw overnight test drive

BMW wants YOU to take an overnight test drive

IMAGINE THAT – they are willing to give you ‘the ultimate driving machine’ for an extended period. No driving around with the salesperson (I hate that by the way) and no more imagining what a BMW might look like parked in your driveway.

I’ve done a little research. There is probably a strong reason why they want you take the car. Here is an excerpt from a JD Power survey:

“When it comes to the test drive, most shoppers expect to be able to test drive the vehicle for an hour or more, with most premium brand shoppers expecting to test vehicles for five hours or more. Most shoppers also expect to be able to take the test drive on their own, without the salesperson accompanying them.”

Strong move from BMW of Bridgeport. Even if those who test drive don’t buy . . . they are probably going to talk, tweet, post or blog about it.

Buy one Pint of Ice Cream TO GO . . .

and Get Two Cones for the Road: Toy Boat

How about making a cone in the comfort of your home? Toy Boat floats in at #144 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

toy boat cafe

Here is what Molly Holtman of Bite shared about Toy Boat:

“Toy Boat, a great dessert shop on Clement Street in San Francisco, throws in two complimentary ice cream cones (cake or sugar, your choice) when you purchase a pint of ice cream. It’s kind of fun to eat ice cream in a cone at home. Plus, their rocky road and pumpkin ice cream is fantastic.”

This a thoughtful and simple complimentary touch from Toy Boat . . . dare I say sweet genius.

Free Cleaning for Life: Tiffany

One of the nice extras that Tiffany provides (in addition to the little blue box) involves free lifetime cleaning of your rings. This comes in at #232 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

tiffany & co

From the site:

“Tiffany offers complimentary cleaning to keep your ring as beautiful as it was the day you received it. An expert will check your stone’s setting and give your ring a thorough cleaning”

My wife and I will stop by once or twice a year and drop off our rings. Come back in an hour or two and they’ve given you a complimentary steam, buff and polish. A nice touch and a very purple goldfish.

[Next Up is Chapter 8. Unexpected – the second ingredient of a purple goldfish]

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra for good measure) – Turns out that many motorists were alarmed by BMW’s of Bridgeport’s billboard. Here a short video from the AP:

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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