Brand expert helps companies avoid getting lost in the shuffle in light of this unofficial, official holiday
WORDS // Jenna Kruse, Kelly Pierce
It’s Black Friday, which means millions of Americans are suffering from “shopper’s hangover.” We all know that Black Friday is really Black Thursday Night. After your turkey-and-stuffing dinner, store ads in the form of thick piles become either dessert to your shopper’s eye or kindling for the fire in your hearth–without the bat of an eye. Either way you view it, it’s the biggest advertisement overload of the year.
In that spirit, I decided to enlist marketing brand expert, Kelly Pierce, at Pierce Creative to give us some best practices on how to–not just in this season, but throughout the year–distinguish your business, and draw interest to your nonprofit or ministry. Rather than provide us with a list of tips and tricks, she tells us a story of a household name that has figured this marketing thing out. And it might not be as costly as you think. Read on:
“We had the time of our lives! They treated us like stars. They even rolled out the green carpet for us,” Mom said beaming ear to ear.
My parents just returned from a four-day trip to Moline, Illinois where they had been invited to a very special Gold Key Ceremony at the John Deere manufacturing plant. It wasn’t to promote a new tractor or to try and sell them any new farm equipment. No, that part was already done. The paperwork was signed – the check written. Mom and Dad had already “sealed the deal” on a new, green machine …A brand-spanking-new John Deere combine.
The company could simply have shipped the tractor to my parents and no one would have given it another thought. Instead, John Deere showed my parents how much they appreciated their loyalty, inviting them to headquarters for a special presentation as they watched their tractor roll off the production line. They gave my dad a gold key and helped him climb into the cab of his combine, so he could be the first person to start the newly-minted engine.
John Deere didn’t need to give my parents any sort of special treatment. After all, they had already sold the machine. Nevertheless, the company knew how much this experience meant to my parents and took the opportunity to show how much they appreciated my family’s business.
John Deere gets it.
It was about more than making a transaction. It was about creating a memorable and meaningful experience my parents will cherish forever. Plus, John Deere knows if they make it special enough, my parents will tell every neighbor and farmer they know about it …and then they’ll want the experience too!
“What John Deere did wasn’t expensive, nor did it take months to plan. But the thought they put into it was priceless. The company showed my parents they cared about them.”
We show love and gratitude in our personal lives every day to further relationships. We need to make sure we’re doing this in our businesses too.
Our customers want to feel like they matter and aren’t just numbers.
We can show them we care in simple and heartfelt ways – by listening, thinking and understanding what’s important to them.
By taking time to build relationships, we build loyalty in a much more profound way than we could ever do, by simply selling a product or service. And, as loyal customers are the beating hearts of our businesses, it makes sense to give them memories they will always cherish.
Kelly Pierce is co-founder of Pierce Creative based out of Topeka, Kansas. You can follow her on Instagram @clevergirlkelly.