Top QSR stories from the Purple Goldfish Project


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Some Quick Extras

The Purple Goldfish Project was an effort to crowd source 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe. Brands that give little unexpected extras (g.l.u.e) in order to drive differentiation, improve retention and promote word of mouth. This post is the tenth in a 12 part series looking at the top 200 examples from the Project by industry. Here are examples from the QSR industry:


caribou coffee purple goldfishCaribou Coffee (submitted by Laura Howells) Caribou Coffee gives you a complimentary chocolate-covered coffee bean with your coffee. This makes me so happy that I seek out the Caribou Coffee whenever I have a layover at the Minneapolis airport.

Starbucks (from John Miller) The free cup of brewed coffee with a pound of beans at Starbucks. Not only is it a $2 perceived value, it is instant gratification and appreciation of the brand/ product. (from Peg Connor)

Chick-fil-a (#125 submitted by Rob Johnson) “When you go through the drive thru they include tasty mints in your bag”. [Simple and effective. I also love the fact that they have a special signature sauce called Chick-Fil-a. Memo to Chick-fil-a, we need to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ in the Constitution State. I need to drive forty plus miles to get my fix]

Peet’s Coffee (#299 by Ksenia Coffman) “#299) Peet’s Coffee & Tea give you a free cup of coffee when you purchase 1/2 lb or more ground coffee (or beans). Or an equivalent discount towards a purchase of a coffee drink. Nice treat!”

Wawa (#317 from Mary Ann Baehr) “WAWA (after the Canadian bird…..not a baby crying) It’s a regional convenience store (570 stores), sells 195 MILLION cups of coffee sales per year. HERE’S why I like it and visit it so much….. NO ATM FEE. I ALWAYS avoid ATM fees by using theirs…..they are consistently clean and quick.”

rita's water iceRita’s Water Ice (#384 submitted by Keith Green of Synergy Events) “Rita’s Water Ice runs a great promotion every spring that is a great example of Lagniappe. On the first day of spring, everyone receives a free Water Ice of their choice. There’s no catch and no purchase necessary, you simply walk in and order what you want.”

Bruster’s Ice Cream (#419 from Don Lowry) “Free baby cones (with candy eyes and sprinkle hair) and free doggie sundaes (scoop of ice cream with a small milkbone). Plus, call and request your favorite ice cream and they’ll make it, and email you when it’s made.”

Baskin-Robbins (#484 taken from Bob Gilbreath and his book, The Next Evolution of Marketing)
“Baskin-Robbins turns hump day (Wednesday) to bump day by offering pregnant women a free cup or cone”

izzy's scoopIzzy’s (#582 submitted by Katie Morrow of Aveus) “Izzy’s ice cream shop in St. Paul, MN offers a free “Izzy” scoop witheach scoop order. Every scoop gets a free “Izzy” – a miniscoop of another flavor on top.”

Chick-fil-a #841. Submitted via e-mail by Jim Joseph @JimJosephExp
Short and sweet. When you eat inside of a Chick-fil-A restaurant, the manager not only walks around to see how things are going for you, but also gives free refills on drinks. Don’t see that very often in fast food.

coffee bean tea and leaf supports the troops#782 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf submitted by Ryan Macaulay. At Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in LA, if you buy a bag of coffee to support our troops overseas, Coffee Bean will buy your round of coffees at the time of purchase- even better, there is a blank white area on the actual coffee bag designated specifically for you to write a personal message to the troops the coffee is going to!

dunn bros coffeeDunn Brothers Coffee #892 was recommended by Eric Fletcher from a post by Laura Click on the blog SocialCMO:
In Laura’s words:

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.

?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.

?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.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – A funny commercial from Brusters Ice Cream:

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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