Archives For Customer first

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So there’s this small tavern in the small town of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin a few miles from my home. It’s called Paddy Caughlin’s Irish Pub. It’s wonderful.

Alas, I didn’t celebrate my Irish brethren there this year. (This photo was taken last summer.) But the photo shows an incredible idea for how you can put your customers first – let other customers buy them something. In this case, it’s a beer.

This simple “pay it forward” chart shows who bought a beer for a pal, and who has a free beer coming their way. This idea plays into the neighborhood hangout brand that they’re trying to carve out. It encourages word of mouth. And it means instant revenue for the bar; with 15 to 20 percent of gift cards going completely unused, it’s likely that this is a pretty profitable tactic.

Free beer? Great idea, Paddy.

 

 

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I once had an advertising creative partner who loathed doing ads for P&G because they always demanded a demonstration of the product in action. My buddy felt that got in the way.

Apple on the other hand frequently uses “the demo” as the entire ad, not just a part of the ad. Apple and their agency TBWA are incredibly good at making the ad about the product, in a way that’s also all about the customer. In this familiar ad, which uses the same demo style as many iPhone and iPad Mini ads, it’s as if you, the customer, are using the product. Here, they sell, sell, sell by putting the customer first with these two ads that broke yesterday on their YouTube channel. The ad “Together” showed 11 apps in action. Uh, that’s a lot of demos.

It looks like some transit ads broke as well.

With 300,000 iPad apps to choose from, selling, selling, selling is a smart play.

These are bourbon ball makers. It makes four ice cubes. Four huge, whiskey-loving ice cubes, just one needed per glass.

These are bourbon ball ice cube makers. It makes four ice cubes. Four enormously huge, whiskey-loving ice cubes.

It’s simple. Give away exclusive cool stuff, for free.

That’s one way how Maker’s Mark puts the customer first. This short video blog shows three cool gifts I’ve received just by signing up for the Maker’s Mark Ambassador Club about five years ago. It’s a really cool loyalty program that rewards customers with exclusive perks. The letter that came with the gift this year encourages folks to go to the Maker’s Mark Facebook page to “share the laughs.” (Although it doesn’t look like a lot of folks did.)

Word of Mouth.org calls it one of the best fan clubs of all time in this great story. They’re right. Maker’s Mark is making a huge number of fans feel special just by doing things a little differently. This disruptive tactic goes a long way to build not just long-term customers, but long-term fanatics. And hey, volume was up 16% for the first half of 2011 according to Nielsen. (See their entry into the Ogilvy Research Awards.)

Here’s Maker’s Mark website where people can sign up for the Ambassador program. And here are some neat photos from Maker’s Mark fans over at Flickr.