Top stories from Entertainment in the Purple Goldfish Project


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Extras in a package

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 fourth in a 12 part series looking at the top 200 examples from the Project by industry. Here are nine entertaining examples.

fillmore west purple goldfishThe Fillmore (submitted by Gene Willis a.k.a Chief Wahoo) One from San Francisco…The Fillmore, a famous music auditorium which has hosted everyone from The Grateful Dead to Snoop Dogg….at the end of each show they hand out a limited number of music posters….free. Each poster has it’s own unique artwork, and the date of the show and artist. People collect the posters, and sometimes look forward to getting the poster as much as the show. Generations of posters are framed and make-up the walls. Also, when you enter the Fillmore, there is a bucket of free apples and someone who welcoming you to the Fillmore. No wonder it’s one of the most loved places to see a band perform live.
Some thoughts on why I love the Fillmore example and why I think the posters + apples are brilliant. It scores high on the four ingredients of a marketing lagniappe:
Unique – the posters are handbills that are distinctive in size
Relevant – it’s not cookie cutter, each poster is designed with the artist in mind
Limited – a limited run creates that ‘one of a kind’ special feel
Authentic – the posters are handed out when the concert-goers leave the venue. It’s a nice small gesture that leaves a positive note. A great tradition.
[In the early days Bill Graham often stood next to a huge bin of fresh apples at the front exit saying good night to the patrons and handing out apples]

Sea World (#345 submitted by Kami Huyse) “For stranded European passengers in Orlando due to the Ash cloud, they are offering one free admission per stranded passenger”

Sons of Maxwell (#340 from Dave Carroll of ‘United Breaks Guitars‘) “Dave was a keynote speaker at the 2010 NewComm Forum. I had a chance to catch up with him to discuss customer experience. He shared a great story about his Mom Sharon who manages all of the mail order sales of his CD’s. Dave talked about how his Mom would knit a dishcloth for fans who bought 3 CD’s. This wasn’t advertised. Imagine the surprise when a fan receive that in the mail with their CD order.”

pga tourPGA Tour (#483 submitted by Barbara Karasek)
“In tough economic times, free is the most fantastic four letter f-word ever. To meet the rise in demand for affordable sporting events, we created new ticket policies to allow free, trackable tickets to be made available for military, military dependents and kids 17 and under at many PGA TOUR events. Like you, acronyms are fun to create and sometimes easier to remember. Our ACE in the hole is a product that is Affordable, Community-focused, and Entertaining.”

lady gaga fans waitingLady Gaga (#503 submitted by Tim Baran @uMCLE) “Say what you will about Lady Gaga — her persona is over the top and outlandish; her music videos are blasphemous (we’re looking at you, Katy Perry) — but one thing you can never say (without it being sorely untrue, anyway) is she doesn’t love her fans. Her connection with her Little Monsters is undeniable and the lengths she’ll go to to prove that are boundless.

Several Gaga fans camped out in early July 8) in front of the Rockefeller Plaza and braved the scorching New York City heat a day ahead of her concert appearance on the Today Show to ensure they get a prime spot.

Once Gaga learned that her Little Monsters were going all out to see her perform, she sprung into action to make sure the wait was a bit more bearable. “My little monster sweeties are already camped outside today show! I love u! Will be sending u pizza and water all day!” she tweeted.

walt disneyDisney + (#537 submitted by Rick Cerrone)
Normally, the word “plus” is a conjunction, but not in Walt’s vocabulary. To Walt, “plus” was a verb—an action word—signifying the delivery of more than what his customers paid for or expected to receive.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of Walt “plussing” his products. He constantly challenged his artists and Imagineers to see what was possible, and then take it a step further…and then a step beyond that. Why did he go to the trouble of making everything better when “good enough” would have sufficed? Because for Walt, nothing less than the best was acceptable when it bore his name and reputation, and he did whatever it took to give his guests more value than they expected to receive for their dollar.
Perhaps one of the best examples of Walt’s obsession for “plussing” comes from Disney historian Les Perkins’ account of an incident that took place at Disneyland during the early years of the park. Walt had decided to hold a Christmas parade at the new park at a cost of $350,000. Walt’s accountants approached him and besieged him to not spend money on an extravagant Christmas parade because the people would already be there. Nobody would complain, they reasoned, if they dispensed with the parade because nobody would be expecting it.
Walt’s reply to his accountants is classic: “That’s just the point,” he said. “We should do the parade precisely because no one’s expecting it. Our goal at Disneyland 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.”

North_Pole_ExpressEssex Steam Train (#627). Taken from a ride on the ‘North Pole Express Train’.
Each year the Essex Steam Train runs the North Pole Express. The hour long train ride is highlighted by visits on the train by Rudolph, Santa and Mrs. Claus. One of the little extras on the ride is provided by the elves. They give all the little boys and girls miniature ornamental bells. “They have a beautiful tone” according to President Rob Bell. The bells are signature to the Essex Steam Train. They are handcrafted by a local Connecticut manufacturer named Bevin Brothers in East Hampton.

Disney #653 Taken from a blogpost by George Bradt
“Disney is committed to guests enterring parks that look as good as they did on the day they were opened for the first time. As soon as the last guest leaves at the end of every day, crews start repairing anything that needs it, touching up the rest, and making things look practically perfect in every way. They refuse to leave any guest’s initial impressions to chance and implement that with an obsession to detail that is a source of pride. The last thing they do before opening the doors in the morning is paint any brown spots on the grass green. That’s what they mean by obsession to detail.”

tampa bag lightning STH jerseyTampa Bay Lightning #953. Submitted via e-mail by Lee Silverstein of Tampa Bay Job Coach: The Lightning’s new program for their season ticket-holders is the first of its kind in professional sports. All full season ticket holders received a home game jersey with their respective season ticket commitments.
In addition to the sweater’s distinct look, a microchip is inserted in the sleeve, thereby allowing season ticket holders to be identified at concession stands and merchandise shops throughout the St. Pete Times Forum. By scanning these embedded sleeves, fans receive a 25% discount on all concessions in the arena and a 35% discount on all merchandise purchased at the Times Forum during Lightning games.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra thrown in for good measure) – Here’s a fun interview with Dave Carroll of ‘United Breaks Guitars’ fame:

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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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