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Updated by Stan Phelps on Jun 23, 2016
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Stan Phelps Stan Phelps
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Golden Goldfish Project

The Golden Goldfish Project is a quest to find 201 examples of marketing g.l.u.e. A golden goldfish is based on Pareto's 80/20 law. 20% of customers make up 80% of profitability. 20% of employees create 80% of the value. This Project is about the little things you do for the Top 20% of customers and employees.

1

Virgin Atlantic

Feb 14, 2013
Virgin Atlantic

#1 - Virgin Atlantic

Submitted by Tyler Kupper:

So our friends at Flyte Tyme have a very unique partnership with Virgin Atlantic.

If you are a first class or top tier client of Virgin Atlantic they offer free car service within 75 miles of the airport. (Partnership with Flyte tyme)

In addition, the driver calls dispatch 15 minutes out with the number of bags the person has and when they arrive at the curb, they are greeted and they tag their luggage and take it.

Nice example of differentiated service.

2

Tampa Bay Lightning

Dec 12, 2013
Tampa Bay Lightning

#2 - The Tampa Bay Lightning gave season ticket holders a special game jersey. Embedded in a patch on the sleeve was a computer chip. Scan it and receive 25% and 35% off foor and merchandise at the arena. Nice way to say “thanks” to your best customers.

3

Lexus

Dec 12, 2013
Lexus

#3 - Helicopter Roadside Assistance – If your Lexus LFA* breaks down over in Europe, the car manufacturer will helicopter in a team to fix it. A big repair… no problem as Lexus is prepared to put you up in five star accommodations.
(*one small snag, the LFA costs $400,000)

4

Kimpton Raid the MiniBar

Dec 27, 2013
Kimpton Raid the MiniBar

#4. This purple goldfish comes courtesy of Susan Borst. Susan shared her experience of staying at a Kimpton Hotel in Oregon. She waxed poetic about an interesting benefit for InTouch loyalty members. The benefit gave members the option of using a $10 voucher for drinks at the bar or towards a mini bar credit. In the words of Kimpton:
You Raid the Bar, we pick up the tab
Raid the Mini Bar got an upgrade! InTouch members now get a $10 credit to enjoy a craft cocktail at one of our participating restaurants. With the expansion of this perk, check-in to check out an array of cocktails created by our skilled bartenders. Feeling road weary? Head up to your comfy room and raid the mini bar instead.
In New York, the credit gets a little bump. Hotel goers in Manhattan get $15.

5

Disney Extra Magic Hours

Feb 16, 2014
Disney Extra Magic Hours

#5. On designated days, one of the Walt Disney World theme parks opens an hour early and two hours later [No evening magic hours at the Animal Kingdom]. These times are called Disney’s extra magic hours. The added golden goldfish is for Disney Resort guests only and includes guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Hotels and the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort.

6

KLM Houses

Feb 16, 2014
KLM Houses

#6. KLM gives Delft Blue Houses to customers who fly business class

Here is a little additional background on the history of the houses courtesy of Theo Kiewiet:

The KLM houses are presents to travelers a board KLM flights in Business and Royal Class. They have been presented over a long period and thus have become collector items. There are currently over 90 different types which are each individually numbered in order of release.

There is Dutch Genever, 35% alcohol, in the houses, which are in fact bottles with a cork and seal on top. Sometimes the genever has been drunk but mostly the empty bottles were empty all along. On flights to some countries with strict alcohol restrictions empty houses are presented. On some of the houses a sticker explains this by referring to customs regulations. Sometimes there is a cork and seal and sometimes there isn’t (and never was) on the empty bottles.

KLM started issuing these miniature bottles in 1952. Airlines were not allowed to give presents to their customers because of unfair competition. So, KLM had some Blue Delft houses made, and filled them with genever (gin). Then, of course, their competitors complained “KLM ís giving presents to their customers”. The KLM said “May we decide how we serve our drinks? Is their a law which tells me drinks have to be served in a glass?”… and so it all started.

7

USA Today

Feb 16, 2014
USA Today

#7 Stan,

#7. A colorful extra from USA Today

Submitted by Barry Curewitz:

Still searching for examples of Lagniappe?

I’ve got one.

I have the USA Today delivered to my house. When it’s wet outside they double bag the newspaper. OK, nothing unusual.

But, when there’s a lot of snow out, they put the paper in a RED bag so it is easy to locate.

I think of that as Lagniappe.
- Barry Curewitz

8

AMC Red Chairs

Feb 16, 2014
AMC Red Chairs

#8. AMC Theaters is now challenging the status quo. They’ve introduced red leather seats called Plush Power Recliners. And its not a publicity stunt or a trial balloon. The chain predicts that at least half of their 300 theaters will received seating upgrades over the next few years. AMC is reducing capacity in some theaters by 64%. Early signs have been positive. In places where the theaters have been renovated, ticket revenue has increased 84%.

9

Disney Frozen Sing-a-long

Feb 16, 2014
Disney Frozen Sing-a-long

#9. Disney
According to Forbes,
“In an effort to gin up more box office and/or screw over Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie (which of course opens next weekend), Disney released a special sing-along version of the animated adventure. The trick seems to have worked, as the film earned another $2.24 million, actually up 10% from last Friday. With $352.95m, it’s actually on track for around $10m for the weekend, which would make it the fourth-biggest “10th weekend” (in wide release) and the third-biggest “11th weekend” (overall) on the books.”
Capitalizing on Your Best Customers
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a Fandango-commissioned survey of 1,000 tickets buyers, 75% have already seen the animated blockbuster at least once, while 52% have seen it at least twice.
The movie has its best customers singing literally and figuratively. Fans have embraced the film’s original songs and its soundtrack with such passion and enthusiasm. The film has spurred hundreds of YouTube videos. “Encouraged by songs like ‘Let It Go’—we decided to create a version that would celebrate that enthusiasm,” said Dave Hollis of Disney Animated Studios. Audiences can sing along to Frozen with on-screen lyrics highlighted by a magical bouncing snowflake.

10

My Starbucks is Better Than Your Starbucks

Feb 16, 2014
My Starbucks is Better Than Your Starbucks

#10. Starbucks
David DeKriek had an interesting Starbucks experience in Cerritos, CA.
In David’s words:
“The parking lot at Starbucks was empty this morning and there was a note on the door stating they were closed.
starbucks closed
Bummer… As I curiously peeked through the glass, one of the baristas waved me over to the side door where she had my Venti Iced Coffee ready for me.
No charge. My Starbucks is better than yours.”

11

Tory Burch Client Book

Feb 16, 2014
Tory Burch Client Book

#11. Tory Burch has developed a tablet based system called “Client Book.” According to an article in Internet Retailer, “this client book service enables customers to keep track of previous orders, wish lists and other information from an online accounts. A shopper might put something into her wish list late at night, for instance, and a store associate keeping track could have that item ready on the shopper’s next store visit or prepare recommendations for other products.”
[In case your curious, the average order value for Client Book customers is 62 percent higher than Tory Burch's typical customer]

12

ALOFT and SPG

Feb 16, 2014
ALOFT and SPG

#12. ALOFT is the nephew of the W chain of hotels. Funky vibe, lots of cool factor. Great lobby and communal area.
One of the refreshing extras at ALOFT is bottled water. It’s a smart way for ALOFT to feature their loyalty program through SPG.
Lest you think all of these plastic bottles are creating unnecessary waste, the hotel has a recycling bin in the room. Plus, the Dasani water by Coca Cola is made with a plant bottle. It’s 100% recyclable and made from 30% of plants. A nice little pay it forward.

13

Delta Chairman's Club

Feb 16, 2014
Delta Chairman's Club

#13. Delta

I was heading to Los Angeles this week for a speaking engagement and meetings. Upon boarding my flight with Delta I noticed something. Right in the galley upon entering the plane was this sign.
The plaque called out Jim Stefl as a 2013 honoree of the Delta Chairman’s Club. The club recognizes employees for above and beyond performance. One the crew members noticed me taking the photo. They told me a bit about the program. Roughly 100 employees get recognized each year and that many more get nominated for the program. According to press release by Delta, about 10,000 were nominated last year.
In the words of CEO Richard Anderson,
”We say it all the time here – Delta people cannot be replicated, and our Chairman’s Club honorees represent the best of what Delta has to offer.”
It looks like Delta celebrates the honorees in style. They walk the red carpet across Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta to the cheers of their colleagues before the ceremony begins.

14

Maker's Mark Ambassador Program

Feb 16, 2014
Maker's Mark Ambassador Program

#14. Maker’s Mark does the little extra to cultivate advocacy with its best customers. The manufacturer of premium bourbon has a unique ambassador program. Visitors to the Loretto, Kentucky distillery can take a pledge to share the love of Mark’s Mark with family and friends. Sworn in ambassadors names are etched on a brass plate and placed on a barrel. Maker’s allows the ambassadors to follow the whole process of creation. Speaking of bourbon, here are the four W’s of Maker’s Mark:

makersmark_spanAfter six or seven years the ambassadors are invited to come back and pickup a bottle or two of the aged bourbon from their very own barrel. Of course, one of the ultimate hands-on perk is picking up your bottle and dipping it into the signature red wax.

15

Guess Eyewear Brazil

Feb 16, 2014
Guess Eyewear Brazil

#15. Guess Eyewear spent a considerable time talking to retailer and studying the market in Brazil before entering. Their research uncovered a practice that annoyed potential customers. Because of tax implications, every eyeglass manufacturer would wait between seven to ten days before replacing product that needed to be returned. By doing so, the manufacturers avoided paying a $20 tax. Guess saw an opening and decided to pay the tax in favor of servicing their clients promptly. It wasn’t an easy decision financially, but the brand did it anyway. The gesture resonated with customers and word spread. Within two years, Guess Eyewear went from 0 accounts to 1,500. In Drew’s words,
“One of the main driving forces behind becoming a top 10 company in the industry and acquiring 1,500 retail customers within 2 years was this change in policy. Namely, we replaced ‘problem’ product within 24-48 hours paying an extra tax while the competition replaced in 7-10 days to avoid paying this tax.”
Drew told me that it wasn’t uncommon for retailers to call Viva directly asking to be carry the product. In some cases they’d ask if the retailer had already seen the line of eyewear. Many times they would say NO, but they still wanted to carry it. The little extra of convenience with returns had a strong pull.

16

Zappos Upgrades to Overnight

Feb 16, 2014
Zappos Upgrades to Overnight

#16. Zappos

Taken from a post by Paige Arnof-Fenn in Forbes:
"How happy were you when you made your first shoe purchase at Zappos and checked the box during checkout for standard delivery only to find those same shoes on your doorstep the very next day? Talk about delight and joy! No wonder their CEO talks about delivering happiness. As soon as you open your package it is so tempting to go back online to do it all again. Is it any wonder their customers are so loyal?"
Full post: http://www.forbes.com/sites/paigearnoffenn/2012/10/01/lagniappe-how-to-win-your-customers-loyalty-with-a-little-extra/

17

Lexus 400

Feb 16, 2014
Lexus 400

#17. Lexus

Taken from a post by Compare Business Products:

"How Lexus chose to react to unforeseen technical problems with its Lexus 400 sedans is a textbook example. Rather than issuing some vaguely apologetic press release, LexusEnthusiast.com reports the company sent over 300 people all over the country who "visited the affected customers at home, brought them a gift, apologized for the glitches in person and, of course brought along a technician who fixed the problems. On the spot. In their driveways." Such enthusiasm suggests a company that goes above and beyond because it truly values the trust customers place in its products."

Full post here: http://www.comparebusinessproducts.com/fyi/12-lessons-best-customer-service-companies

18

Etana REDwards

Feb 16, 2014
Etana REDwards

#18. Etana

Etana REDwards (#927): The Etana REDwards applauded the efforts of those who have gone above and beyond in living the Etana values through their work. The event takes place during REDfast, a two day getaway for all etana staff. The awards are made by local artists and are given out to reinforce the core values at the company: Be Open, Know, Grow, Give and Make it Happen. Here was a little extra that really drove home the recognition. To coincide with the event, etana bought billboards near the home office. The billboards highlighted the different winners from the REDwards. A total surprise and delight for employees when they returned to work.

19

Enterprise "We'll Pick You Up"

Feb 16, 2014
Enterprise "We'll Pick You Up"

#19. Enterprise
One of the things that sets Enterprise apart from competitors is its number of in-town branches. Convenience given their scale is a major differentiator. Call it the “Wahlgreens Effect” (75% of the US population lives within 3 miles of a Wahlgreens.) Enterprise takes that level of convenience one step further by picking up customers. It’s become the calling card for the brand. It also is an interesting case study for both innovation and taking care of your best customers.
In the 1970′s Enterprise began to create partnerships with local body shops. These shops were a major referral source. People needed rental cars when their cars were in the shop. These body shops were a golden goldfish, representing a small percentage of customers and a major source of profitability for the company. The challenge was that in many cases the ultimate customer didn’t have a way to get over to Enterprise once they dropped off their car.
Body shop managers would often call Enterprise asking for pick-ups. One of the branch managers decided to oblige, even though it was technically against corporate policy. This innovation came from the field and not from HQ. But give Enterprise credit as they quickly adopted the practice system-wide

20

Courtyard by Marriott

Feb 16, 2014
Courtyard by Marriott

#20. Guest of the Week
This story was submitted by PR Workbench‘s and eNR’s Jack Monson:

“A few years ago, I was traveling to the Twin Cities often and stayed several times at the same Courtyard By Marriott in the suburb of Eden Prarie since it was close to two clients’ HQs. By the third trip in a few weeks’ time, I had a nice surprise waiting for me. I walked in after a cold and delayed trip from Chicago to see a big sign in the lobby saying “Welcome Jack Monson”. The manager informed me that I was their guest of the week and gave me a card for free breakfast in the morning. Not a huge thing, but guess where I continued to stay everytime I had to travel to Minneapolis over the next year…”

Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference. That’s the magic of marketing lagniappe. Creating that unexpected moment that demonstrates you care.

What did it cost the Courtyard by Marriott to recognize Jack Monson? A little sweat equity, a sharpie and maybe $3 for the breakfast, but the effect . . . PRICELESS.

21

Amazon Prime

Feb 16, 2014
Amazon Prime

#21. Amazon Prime fans love the service for the bargain it delivers. For a $79 annual fee, they get free two-day shipping on nearly 20 million items, one free ebook each month from the company's Kindle library and streaming free videos.

22

Fiskateers

Feb 17, 2014
Fiskateers

#22 - Fiskars
For the fiskateers movement, Fiskars sends a ‘little something extra’ to its newest members. They receive an engraved limited edition scissor in the craft inspired box. The package also includes a handbook and a handwritten ‘welcome’ note from Fiskars.

23

Velveeta

Feb 17, 2014
Velveeta

#23 - Superconsumers

Taken from an HBR article:
"By analyzing supermarket scanner and consumer panel data, we found a hard-core group of Velveeta fans. They constituted 10% of buyers but accounted for 30% to 40% of revenue and more than 50% of profits. In focus groups, these buyers—whom we dubbed superconsumers—said that they think of Velveeta as superior cheese. They love the way it melts smoothly and easily, and they have myriad uses for it, ones that range far beyond dips (one person even claimed to use a little when making fudge). After we finished questioning the superconsumers, they traded recipes, e-mails, and phone numbers with one another—building friendships around their shared passion for Velveeta. To restart Velveeta’s growth, Kraft decided to focus on these superconsumers, a group whose size we estimated at 2.4 million."
Here is a link to the full article: http://hbr.org/2014/03/make-your-best-customers-even-better/ar/1

24

Method Home

Feb 17, 2014
Method Home

#24 - Cheerleaders

Method, a leader in organic home cleaning products, is leveraging advocacy with its most passionate customers. It has created a group of 5,000 consumers it calls cheerleaders. To qualify, these customers have done something extraordinary to share their love for Method. Things like writing a poem or creating a photograph. One cheerleader Nathan Aaron has even created a blog called Method Lust – One Man’s Surpressed Lust for All Things Method Home. Over a five year period, Aaron penned almost a 1,000 articles about Method. Nathan isn’t paid by Method, although he sometimes receives new products, notes from the team, and even an invite to dinner when the Method team was in town.

25

Omni Hotels

Mar 03, 2014
Omni Hotels

#25. Submitted via e-mail via Josh Crum
Hey, Stan! Hope you’re doing well. I saw your email come through and wanted to share an experience I had recently. You may have this one already, if not hopefully it will be worthy of your list .
I recently stayed at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, and when registering they asked if I’d like to join their loyalty program at no cost. I’ve joined others before, but this was the first that included complimentary Juice and Coffee every morning delivered to your room. I really felt it was such a great bonus to staying there! (no waffles included though ) There are other items included and I pasted the copy from their site:
Join Omni Select Guest and be rewarded on your very first stay. Members enjoy complimentary perks including in-room Wi-Fi, pressings, shoe shine, morning beverage delivery.

  • Listly By

    Stan Phelps is a Forbes Contributor, IBM Futurist, and TEDx Speaker. His keynotes and workshops offered at PurpleGoldfish.com focus on how to create meaningful differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers. He’s the best-selling author of: Purple Goldfish -12 Ways to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth, Green Goldfish - Beyond Dollars: 15 Ways to Drive Employee Engagement, Golden Goldfish - The Vital Few, Blue Goldfish - Using Technology, Data, and Analytics to Drive Both Profits and Prophets, Purple Goldfish Service Edition - The 12 Ways Hotels, Restaurants and Airlines Win the Right Customers, and Red Goldfish - Motivating Sales & Loyalty With Shared Passion and Purpose. Connect with me at stan@purplegoldfish.com or +1.919.360.4702.

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