Here’s a great example of how an inexpensive gesture toward a customer can produce positive viral results…very important in today’s overall marketing strategy given the importance of social media.
LEGO managed to make an 11-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome very happy this year by making a small gesture that exploded in positive social media. For two years, James Groccia had dreamed of owning a LEGO Emerald Night Train set, and he saved his allowance until he had the $100 needed to purchase the set. Unfortunately, LEGO discontinued the set before James could make his purchase.
James was devastated, and his parents couldn’t find the LEGO set available for less than $200, which was too much for them to pay. A therapist at James’ LEGO playgroup suggested he write a letter to the company, which he did. In response, James received a corporate apology letter, expressing understanding at his disappointment, and informing him that the train set had been discontinued.
However, just a few weeks later a package arrived in time for James’ birthday on October 19. The letter accompanying the package said the lengths to which the boy had gone in saving for and trying to find the LEGO set he wanted had prompted the company to find one for him, which they had enclosed.
His family caught the joyous moment on video, which was uploaded to YouTube and generated more than 1.6 million views and more than 10,000 likes, along with more positive feedback for LEGO’s reputation than could have ever been generated through traditional advertising. A little bit of good will goes a long way.
Today’s marketing strategies must take social media into account. Comments – both negative and positive – can explode on social media, making it more important than ever for businesses remain in touch with their customer base and respond appropriately to any situation. Even the smallest amount of good will shown to your customers can be the one that boosts your company more than any planned marketing campaign. For the tiny investment of a single LEGO set, the company boosted its image more than a million dollar ad campaign – without any risk.
Good will with your customers can take many forms. Provide them with unexpected surprises like LEGO did, be real with them, and make them happy. Ensure that your quality is always consistent and that you give more than what you sell. Care about your relationship with your customers, give back to them and their community, and follow up with your customers after their purchase.
No matter how small your good will gestures to your customers are, from providing an extra bit of help for someone having troubles, to sending a disappointed child a discontinued toy, your efforts will be appreciated, and perhaps generate a more positive result than you could have ever predicted.