Happy New Year and another 50 examples of marketing lagniappe

by Stan Phelps

in purple goldfish project

A week before we celebrated Thanksgiving I launched PROJECT: Purple Goldfish.  I’m on a quest to collect 1,001 stories of marketing lagniappe for my upcoming book, MARKETING LAGNIAPPE – In Search of Your Purple Goldfish.   For each example I am donating a non perishable food item to the Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport, CT.

purple goldfish project logoThe response has been tremendous. After 8 weeks we’ve had 150 examples of purple goldfishes submitted.

I thought it would fun to compile my third Top Ten list from numbers #101 to #150.  Without further adieu . . .

10.  Hotel Burnham (#141 submitted by Mark True – Brand Warrior and Copywriter @ McLellan Marketing Group )  ”On the two occasions I stayed there, The Hotel Burnham in downtown Chicago left me a bottle of wine and then a bottle of root beer with a personal note from the manager. The root beer was the second gift, after I thanked them for the wine and told them that I’m not a wine drinker after the first visit!”  [Nice personal touch by the Hotel Burnham . . . kudos for getting it right the second time around as a great lagniappe isn’t a ‘one size fits all proposition’]

9.  Toyzam (#131 and #115 submitted by Michael Edwards) “I was reading post number #115 which mentioned the free batteries with the purchase of any battery operated toy at ToyZam!  You missed one other marketing lagniappe / purple goldfish at ToyZam! This awesome store also gives everyone a free coloring book with their purchase as well! When I thanked the cashier and mentioned that I have 3 children, she smiled and handed me TWO MORE free coloring books! What a great experience during the mad holiday shopping season! This store is bright, cheery, colorful, friendly and INSISTS that you go ahead and play with the toys! Awesome experience! [Good article on Toyzam from CNBC. Multiple purple goldfish . . . I’m seeing that as a theme]

8.  Chick-fil-a (#125 submitted by Rob Johnson) “When you go through the drive thru they include tasty mints in your bag”. [Simple and effective.  I also love the fact that they have a special signature sauce called Chick-Fil-a.  Memo to Chick-fil-a, we need to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ in the Constitution State.  I need to drive forty plus miles to get my fix]

7. Toy Boat (#144 submitted by Molly Holtman of Bite)  ”Toy Boat, a great dessert shop on Clement Street in San Francisco, throws in two complimentary ice cream cones (cake or sugar, your choice) when you purchase a pint of ice cream. It’s kind of fun to eat ice cream in a cone at home. Plus, their rocky road and pumpkin ice cream is fantastic.”
[Nice simple complimentary touch from Toy Boat . . . sweet genius]

6.  Beaver Creek Ski Resort (#129 submitted by Drew Grieco) “Every day at 3pm, Beaver Creek’s cookie time chefs serve hot, chocolate chip cookies at the base of the Centennial Chairlift (Chair #6). The perfect ending to a perfect day.” [Love the fact that you have to be ‘in the know’ and show up at an exact time]

5.  Plaza Cleaners in PDX (#123 submitted by Blue Young) “I think it counts, though it’s not so typical. They will clean someone’s suit for free if they’re unemployed and need the suit for a job interview. Look here…

http://applicant.com/how-one-business-is-helping-the-unemployed/ [Very cool and unique purple goldfish in a sea of dry cleaning sameness]

4. Bob’s Discount Furniture (#126 submitted by Jim Reinwald)  ”I was not looking forward to how many times I was going to be asked, “are we done yet” by my 11 year old while shopping for a bedroom set at Bob’s. I was pleasantly surprised to find that while filling out paperwork etc.. the store has a small arcade with a number of popular games that are free of charge to occupy their time. The store also offers free ice cream, cookies, drinks, coffee and penny candy to all it’s visitors. And the furniture is reasonably priced as well, it’s worth a visit.”  [NOTE: Jim has graciously offered to match the donation of non-perishable food items to the Thomas Merton Center for the first 125 examples from the Purple Goldfish Project.  That’s awesome.  How about that for a little lagniappe?]

3.  IKEA (#147 submitted by moi) “IKEA gets a nod for Smaland. It’s New Years and I needed to buy the boys some down comforters. Head to IKEA with Thomas (my oldest who is almost 4) while younger bro (James 2) is doing his afternoon nappy. Dreading the upcoming struggle of dragging Thomas through the wonderful maze that is IKEA. Enter NIRVANA. I head through the doors and notice the play area by the entrance. IKEA provides a free service where kids can play supervised while you shop. Talk about a relevant, unexpected, limited, expression of stickiness. Thank you IKEA. Here is a great post on the inside skinny on Smaland: http://www.aparentinsilverspring.com/2008/01/ikea-smland-inside-report.html

[Can a purple goldfish increase sales? Check out this article by the NY Times . . . seems like there might be direct correlation: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/garden/11ikea.html]

2. Pepperidge Farm (#134 submitted by moi) “I was at the Pepperidge Farm Factory store yesterday picking up some things. There was a senior citizen standing in front of me in line buying a few items. Her total bill was $9.96. The clerk informed her that all purchases over ten dollars received a 20% discount and asked her if she’d like to pick out something else. Quickly she made a b-line to the Milano’s (good choice) which essentially were free once he factored in the discount. I could tell she left with a smile on her face and a bounce in her step.”  [Those Milano’s were an unexpected surprise and I can almost guarantee you that she will recount that story a few times. Turns out the folks at Pepperidge Farm make purple goldfishes both literally and figuratively]

drumroll please . . . . . . . and the #1 from our third Top 10 list is:

#1. Kimpton Hotels (#109 submitted by M.B.) “Kimpton hotels do all kinds of lagniappe-ish things – Free Starbucks coffee and tea in the morning; Cookies and / or fruit always available in lobby, Free wine reception with pretty good and often interesting wines each evening (@ Hotel Monaco in SF, they often have Tarot card reader or other added entertainment) and there’s always free wireless internet access that works well. (Should be a standard but is not at most hotels…)  Buildings, themes, decoration, art and lobby architecture always different. Rooms have many unique styles, but you know that the beds, amenities, service will be at a similar standard in all.  They are proactively kid and pet friendly.  Their signature special lagniappe is the goldfish you can bring to your room to keep you company. I think they still do it at several of their hotels.  Here’s the URL for the Kimpton Guppy Love program: http://www.kimptonhotels.com/pdfs/pet/Pet-PR-Guppy-Love-Program.pdf

Here is a link to a post on ‘guppy love’ from Kimpton.  I love the baggage promotion they are doing.

Click here for the first Top 10 list from the first 50 examples of marketing lagniappe.

Click here for the second Top 10 list from #51 to #100 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

HELP me catch another 851 purple goldfishes for a great cause.  Click here to send me your example.

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