Top Ten List 11 (#501-550)

by Stan Phelps

in purple goldfish project

purple goldfish project top 10 list

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The 11th Top 10 List from #501-#550

We’ve powered past the halfway mark.  Now the real climb begins.  Move over A-Rod because 600 is in our sights.

It was hard to choose the Top 10 from this 50, but here are the ones that were left standing:

little monsters10. Lady Gaga (#503 submitted by Tim Baran @uMCLE)  ”Say what you will about Lady Gaga — her persona is over the top and outlandish; her music videos are blasphemous (we’re looking at you, Katy Perry) — but one thing you can never say (without it being sorely untrue, anyway) is she doesn’t love her fans. Her connection with her Little Monsters is undeniable and the lengths she’ll go to to prove that are boundless.  Several Gaga fans camped out early today (July 8) in front of the Rockefeller Plaza and braved the scorching New York City heat a day ahead of her concert appearance on the Today Show to ensure they get a prime spot.  Once Gaga learned that her Little Monsters were going all out to see her perform, she sprung into action to make sure the wait was a bit more bearable. “My little monster sweeties are already camped outside today show! I love u! Will be sending u pizza and water all day!” she tweeted.”

9.  Artuso’s Bakery (#529 submitted by Kevin Sheehan) “Artuso’s Bakery in the Bronx has been on the Purple Goldfish bandwagon for decades. There are many times when you go in and out of the blue, you’ll get a free cookie or pastry or even a whole cake if it’s near the end of the day. The owner, who passed away recently, loved kids and equally loved giving them a little treat from time to time. The best part was, this wasn’t something that happened every time, so it didn’t become just another thing that you expected to get.”

perpetualkid8. Perpetual Kid (#549 from Ariel Savrin-Jacobs) “Last week I bought a few fun things online for my dorm room from It was my first time buying from them, and I’ll certainly be a repeat customer. The site is overall really fun (for example, I got measuring cups that stack like a Russian nesting doll), and it definitely didn’t hurt that my order placed at 10 pm on the 18th shipped the next morning and arrived on the 20th. But the best part of it all was the surprise “finger monster” (for lack of better words) sitting on top when I opened the package. While I don’t quite know what to do with it, I sure got a kick out of it, and I bet many other customers probably did too. I’ve attached a picture of this rubber “finger monster”. Hope it helps on your way to 1,001 and I will let you know if I come across any others!”

7.  McCurly’s Tours (#522. Submitted by Lindsay Willott of “McCurlys (a car rental company in Grand Cayman) picks you up at the airport and takes you to your vacation villa or resort where your rental car is waiting for you, with the option of a free stop at the local supermarket to stock up on essentials on the way. The customer really wins here – they don’t have to drive after a long flight (and potentially a few beers!) and they get to buy the essentials before getting to their villa, meaning they don’t have to go back out on unfamiliar roads one day 1 if they don’t want to. And finally, the car is at the villa, not at the airport, so no long form-filling, waiting in line or trying to find the rental car in the lot.”

6.  Marriott (#547 from Kelly Ketelboeter of The Experience Factor) “At the Renaissance Marriott downtown Chicago, they offer the option for easy check-in where you let them know the approximate time of your arrival and the method. A staff member will then meet you in the lobby with your keys and anything else you need. No need to stop by the front desk and wait in line!! Get right to your room and start enjoying the view of the Chicago skyline.”

5.  Nagoya Restaurant (#512 from Eric Wiberg) “Every time Nagoya Japanese restaurant in South Norwalk / SoNo CT delivers their (excellent) food, they add a “compliments of the house” special freebie, which is always high quality, always different, and always elicits gratitude. The freebie ranges from complex California sushi roll type samples to edemame, a dessert, or a soup. They are small but of high quality. The freebies introduce us to foods we would not normally try and always make us eager to open the delivery and see what is in store for us. On each gift is a simple black magic marker saying “on the house” or “house special”. they have never mentioned it on the phone or delivery person, never failed to include it, and never asked for anything in return. In return we give them our total loyalty for all Asian food purchases for our house and guests. We’ve never even eaten in the restaurant or met the staff (aside from friendly drivers) but because of this simple “Purple Goldfish” gesture, we are die hard fans of Nagoya of SoNo and suspect that we are not the only recipients of their discrete kindness.”

4.  Virgin Atlantic (#538 taken from a blogpost by smith + co.) “Create ‘difference’ in the experience.  Like all other airlines, Virgin Atlantic used Boeing 747s for its long-haul flights. In a real sense, the multi-million dollar plane was a commodity – all the airlines had the same plane. The difference in the guest experience came from something Richard Branson dubbed ‘Virgin flair’. To ‘be different’ – because they knew that being surprising was what made the passengers remember their Virgin flight – Virgin started serving small ice creams during the in-flight movie. Because people often enjoy an ice cream in a cinema.”

3.  Two Urban Licks in Atlanta (#523 from Bobby Stern) ”Two Urban Licks provides complimentary valet service for all customers.”

2. Market Basket Supermarket (#519 from Ann-Marie Lavoie)  “I’d like to add, Market Basket Supermarket to the Purple Goldfish. They always have complimentary coffee, regular and decaf, avalible to customers while they shop. They also have free cookies for the kids at the bakery.

. . . and the #1 on the eleventh Top 10 List:

1.  Disney + (#537 submitted by Rick Cerrone)

walt disneyNormally, the word “plus” is a conjunction, but not in Walt’s vocabulary. To Walt, “plus” was a verb—an action word—signifying the delivery of more than what his customers paid for or expected to receive.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of Walt “plussing” his products. He constantly challenged his artists and Imagineers to see what was possible, and then take it a step further…and then a step beyond that. Why did he go to the trouble of making everything better when “good enough” would have sufficed? Because for Walt, nothing less than the best was acceptable when it bore his name and reputation, and he did whatever it took to give his guests more value than they expected to receive for their dollar.

Perhaps one of the best examples of Walt’s obsession for “plussing” comes from Disney historian Les Perkins’ account of an incident that took place at Disneyland during the early years of the park. Walt had decided to hold a Christmas parade at the new park at a cost of $350,000. Walt’s accountants approached him and besieged him to not spend money on an extravagant Christmas parade because the people would already be there. Nobody would complain, they reasoned, if they dispensed with the parade because nobody would be expecting it.

Walt’s reply to his accountants is classic: “That’s just the point,” he said. “We should do the parade precisely because no one’s expecting it. Our goal at Disneyland is to always give the people more than they expect. As long as we keep surprising them, they’ll keep coming back. But if they ever stop coming, it’ll cost us ten times that much to get them to come back.”

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.

Click here for the third Top 10 list from #101 to #150 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the fourth Top 10 list from #151 to #200 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the fifth Top 10 list from #201 to #250 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the sixth Top 10 list from #251 to #300 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the seventh Top 10 list from #301 to #350 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the eighth Top 10 list from #351 to #400 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the ninth Top 10 list from #401 to #450 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

Click here for the tenth Top 10 list from #451 to #500 in the Purple Goldfish Project.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Purple Goldfish Project Top Ten List #15 (701-750)
April 4, 2011 at 7:12 am
Purple Goldfish Project Top Ten List 18 (#851-900)
October 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm
Top Hotel and Resort Stories from the Purple Goldfish Project
March 18, 2012 at 7:20 am

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