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Updated by Stan Phelps on Jul 28, 2016
Headline for Purple Goldfish Project
Stan Phelps Stan Phelps
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Purple Goldfish Project

The full collection of 1,001 + examples from the amazon Best Selling book, "What’s Your Purple Goldfish? 12 Ways to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth" A purple goldfish is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’ for the customer. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure. Also know as marketing g.l.u.e (marketing by giving little unexpected extras).


Purple Goldfish Project | A car wash and detail is part of the service @Lexus

Lexus drives in at #1 in the Project. The relentless pursuit of perfection in service.

From Tom Haidinger

I don’t have one now (because I have 3 kids and can’t afford one), but I used to have a Lexus. The Lexus of Greenwich Service Team is outstanding and delivers lagniappe in a very meaningful way. With a typical dealership service experience, the “little something extra” you receive is a grease covered paper floor mat left behind (but otherwise you can’t really tell if your car has been serviced). At Lexus of Greenwich you get your car back looking like its brand new – they wash your car inside and out and vacuum it too! It simply feels good to get into your “freshly serviced” car when its been washed as well!

And now for a little lagniappe of my own for this entry: I just had Chinese food, and you know what they threw in for free without me even asking? A fortune cookie! How do you say lagniappe in Chinese? Confuscious must have been in marketing!

All the best with the book Stan! – Tom

Purple Goldfish Project | Caribou Coffee

From Laura Howells #2

“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. Take that Starbucks.”

Full post at:



TOMS Shoes

Purple Goldfish Project | TOMS Shoes

From Jackie Adkins #3

“TOMS Shoes – For every pair of shoes bought, a pair will be given to a child in need”


Ben & Jerry's

Purple Goldfish Project | Ben & Jerry's

From Kelly Leslie #4

“Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day (held each April to celebrate their birthday), Dunkin’ Donuts (free iced coffee on the first day of spring)”



Purple Goldfish Project | Starbucks

From John Miller #5

“My personal favorite is 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.”



Purple Goldfish Project | Hyatt

Hi Stan! Looking forward to see what ideas emerge here. I have a couple that come to mind.

#6. Here’s one: Hyatt’s CEO has been making a big push this year to make ‘hospitality’ a genuine part of the Hyatt experience. He wrote a post earlier this year: “the folks who run Gold Passport will be reaching out to surprise and delight Hyatt guests in a whole new way. We will be empowering hotel employees to perform what we’re calling random acts of generosity. So, don’t be surprised if Gold Passport picks up your bar tab, comps your massage or treats your family to breakfast. It’s part of bringing authentic hospitality to life and making you feel more than welcome.”

Here’s a link to his post:


Whole Foods

Purple Goldfish Project | Whole Foods

From Kyle Cameron Studstill #7

Whole Foods offers free pedicab rides around New York City, taking customers anywhere they want to go within a ten block radius of the store. There’s a good description of it here by some people who took part in the experiment:



Purple Goldfish Project | Disney

#8. From Rob Gallo

“Disney gives you free admission to one of its theme parks on your birthday.”


DoubleTree Hotels

Purple Goldfish Project | DoubleTree Hotels


Doubletree Hotels (free warm chocolate cookie at check in)


Scrub-a-Dub Car Wash

Purple Goldfish Project | Scrub-a-Dub Car Wash


Scrub-a-Dub Car Wash (free wash on your birthday)



Purple Goldfish Project | Denny's


Denny’s (kids eat free on Tuesday nights)



Purple Goldfish Project | McDonald's


McDonald’s (free coffee for senior citizens age 55 and older)”


Ben & Jerry's

Purple Goldfish Project | Ben & Jerry's

#13. From Peter Hurley

“Ben & Jerry’s would sell factory seconds at the Burlington, VT store. A pint may have too many chocolate chips or too much fudge. The price was 1/3 the normal cost.”



Purple Goldfish Project | USPS

#14. From Darren Miner

“The US Postal Service Flat Rate Box. No weight limit and one simple price. You fit it . . . and they ship it”


Toys R Us

Purple Goldfish Project | Toys R Us

#15. From Jill Mendes

“Toys R Us has a birthday club where they sent a $10 gift card to the child on their birthday”



Purple Goldfish Project | DoubleTree

From Matthew Hirsch

#16. DoubleTree Hotels – They give cookies to all guests when they check in:


Les Schwab Tires

Purple Goldfish Project | Les Schwab Tires

From Cody Goldberg

#17. “Two great examples from Les Schwab Tires. The service people jog to your car when you pull in to the service center. They fix flats for free . . . whether you bought tires there or not.”


Krispy Kreme

Purple Goldfish Project | Krispy Kreme

#18. From Mark Beal

“Krispy Kreme will give a free doughnut for just walking through the door”



Purple Goldfish Project | JetBlue

#19. From Joe Pulizzi

JetBlue’s CEO’s Guide to Flying – No More Private Jets for CEOs. JetBlue teaches them how to enter back into the real-world by making it easy to fly. (Check out the video)



Purple Goldfish Project | Starbucks

#20. From Dan Hull

“Starbucks gives out a free cup of coffee on election day if you come in with an “i voted” sticker”


Good Giving LLC

Purple Goldfish Project | Good Giving LLC

#21. From John Phelps Jr.

“We have a little example of lagniappe here at GG, LLC.

To generally promote our online shopping business, both the non-profit fundraising application and the employee benefit program, we sponsor a discount prescription drug card. This is a very nice discount card given freely to any individual who must pay for their prescriptions.

When someone has an Rx insurance card, that’s generally their better deal. However, if they have to pay for their drugs, the retail cost of prescriptions are pretty scary. Our card provides a discount of 18% to 45% depending on the type of drug.

Anyway, we give out the cards, just to promote our programs. I get a small marketing fee when the card is used, but that pretty much just takes care of the printing cost.

Check out the web site —

Which is also linked to our company site —

Anyone can come to the site, print off a copy of the discount card for their personal use, use the site to locate pharmacies, compare prices, and learn about their prescriptions. Nice.

Oh, you can also save on lab work and/or imaging services (X-Rays, MRI’s, etc…).

So, that’s our little somethin’ somethin’ to show our customers we care.”


Whole Foods

Purple Goldfish Project | Whole Foods

#22. From Claire Gallo

“I live in West Hartford, CT. When you shop at Whole Foods and buy fish, meat or poultry . . . the folks at Whole Foods will offer to give you ice for free. Very nice touch, especially if you have other errands or plan to shop around town.”



Purple Goldfish Project | Lexus

From Maryann Phelps-Baehr

#23. Lexus….concierge service to make the owner feel special, privileged and well taken care of.


Langhorne Hotel

Purple Goldfish Project | Langhorne Hotel

From Maryann Phelps-Baehr

#24. The Langhorne Hotel (100+ year old establishment nearby) gives a complimentary side dish of pasta with garlic and broccoli to each dinner guest


Antique Shop

Purple Goldfish Project | Antique Shop

From Maryann Phelps-Baehr

#25. My personal favorite….a nearby antique shop packages every jewelry purchase in a velvet draw string pouch….no matter the cost of the item…..A+ presentation.