Marketing Lagniappe: Looking back at 2011, looking forward to 2012

by Stan Phelps

in purple goldfish project

Looking Back

I thought it would be interesting to look back on my Top 10 posts from 2011. I looked at my stats on, the world’s largest community for customer-centric business. Always interesting to see what stands out, the wheat amongst the chaff. I posted roughly 175 times in 2011. These dozen represent the Top 5% of my posts:


1. Customer Experience: 12 Little Extras that Make a Big Difference (14,286 views) – This is a monster. My usual posts will cite one example and a short insight. This post introduces a framework for the extra mile (the VM Matrix), 12 different types of purple goldfish and stellar examples from each category. It almost has more views than the next nine combined.


2. In-N-Out Burgers uses simplicity, efficiency, code-words and the Bible to maximize #custserv (1,935 views) – a purple goldfish post about a SoCal legend. Insert bible verses for lagniappe.

1001-examples-of-lagniappe3. JetBlue Handles Delays By Doing the Little Extras (1,836 views) – Short and to the point… how to handle delays and service issues proactively.

4. Spanair Surprises and Delights Customers on Christmas Eve (1,644 views) – a heart-warming tale on Christmas. Great video. Timing is everything and use of the conveyor belt in baggage claim is pure lagniappe.

5. Allstate Good Hands Roadside Builds In Value (1,588 views) – a simple little extra from Allstate. Love the fact that it applies to both customers and prospects.


6. Purple Goldfish Strategy: Is Differentiation Key to Growth? (1,564 views) – looking at the 5 factors that determine the growth of a goldfish and the importance of standing out in a “sea of sameness.”

reinventing the wheel book cover

7. Zane’s Cycles: Lessons in Maximizing the Lifetime Value of Your Customer (1,488 views) – an in-depth look at Chris Zane’s book, Reinventing the Wheel. A strong dozen examples of how Zane’s provides marketing lagniappe.


8. Are You Giving Extra? Amica Insurance Understands the Power of Lagniappe (1,435 views) – a post about Amica. They get that lagniappe should really begin with your employees first. Happy Employees = Happy Customers.

9. Nordstrom Sizes Up and Delivers a Signature Customer Service (1,391 views) – a great example taken from Ron Kaufman at Up Your Service.

10. Coke vs. Pepsi: Branded Acts of Kindness (1,331 views) – the soda wars rage on. A look at three activations by Coke and Pepsi, plus an interesting bit of insight by Coke’s CMO Joe Tripodi on “expressions.”

Looking Forward

OK – enough looking back. Let’s take a peek at 2012. On January 11th What’s Your Purple Goldfish? book will launch. We’re nine days away.

Here’s a peek at the cover:

what's your purple goldfish cover

We will also be hitting #1,001 in the Project. It took almost 800 days, but we’ve reached the mountaintop. You are going to like the final Purple Goldfish. It will be filled to the gills with lagniappe.

Stay tuned…

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