Tidbits From Around the ‘Sphere
Posted by Becky Carroll on January 24, 2007
Starbucks – The New “Pub”
Over in the UK, going to the pub means going to meet up with your friends, have a few drinks and a few laughs, maybe play the quiz, and just relax. Starbucks is a similar experience (minus the quiz and the beer!). Lewis Green posts today on bikers at a West Hartford Starbucks and the great experience there. Per Lewis:
Explains one biker, there just aren’t many places in communities anymore where people can get together and just talk. Another speaks the Starbucks mantra: It isn’t work, it isn’t home (and it isn’t a bar).
Mind you, these words are not being read from a corporate brochure or being spoken by a Starbucks agent of marketing. They are words out of customers’ mouths. These customers are brand evangelists spreading positive word of mouth (WOM).
My local Starbucks used to have bikers as well; we got to know each other, as we were all frequent visitors! In addition, they had a chess club that met once/week for a few hours at a time. I think they were Italian (but my Italian skills are limited!). This doesn’t surprise me, as Europeans tend to have many cafes where they can congregate socially, sometimes lasting into the night. Application: create a great experience for your customers that meets their needs (in this case, a comfortable place to socialize), and you will build loyalty while you are building community.
Best Buy Rewards Zone – Does it Fit?
I posted recently on customer loyalty programs and the importance of making sure they fit the customer expectations. From Doug Karr’s great blog comes a link to another blogger, Chris Baggott, and his post on Best Buy’s Rewards Zone loyalty program. Basically, Chris is not impressed, as he feels his rewards are not only irrelevant, they are junk mail. As Chris shares:
I get paper based junk. My reward for spending around $10,000.00 since joining the program…..and the most recent offer following the holiday season?
A Credit Card Offer!!
Man do I feel special.
This is a campaign, nothing more. Marketing 1.0 just like the airlines. Monetize your list, not build better relationships with your “special” customers.
The comments are just as telling as Chris’s post. Best Buy is doing a lot of things well, but if they really want to build loyalty, they need to keep it relevant. Customers can always see through the junk, no matter how it is dressed-up.
Tag – You’re It, Part Deux
My new blogging friend Katia Adams over at Hola! Hi! Oi! recently tagged me in the “5 Things You Should Know” meme. Since I have already done this once (as have many others), I will tell you five more things about me then list for you some blogs that I have recently added to my reading list. That should help keep the link-love going!
1. I have a bunny rabbit named Bugsy (Bugs for short). He is an adorable black lop-eared dwarf bunny that we adopted at an animal rescue. He makes sure I keep an ample supply of carrots, parsley, and Italian parsley on hand! Here he is:
2. I own a Nintendo DS and love playing Brain Age- Train Your Brain. I asked for this for Christmas, and I am having lots of fun with it! It tracks how “old” your brain is based on how well you perform on various timed tests. I use it to keep me sharp, along with doing crossword puzzles with my hubby!
3. I love Disneyland and recently became a Season Pass holder, now that we live close by (in San Diego). I am heading over there tomorrow and will be looking for great customer service examples to share.
4. We used to have au pairs live with us when the kids were little. Our au pairs came from Norway (2), France, Germany, and Spain. We still keep in close contact with the Norwegian au pair; she lived with us while we were in England, then joined us in America (despite her parents’ concerns that “California is too dangerous!”) As a result, I speak a tiny bit of Norwegian.
5. When we travel as a family, we love to live in small, family-run places rather than the big hotels. It helps us get closer to the local culture, and we always make great friends. Maybe that’s why I like blogging so much; it enables me to keep making great friends internationally, even if I am not out traveling!
Five blogs I have recently started reading:
The Shifted Librarian: by Jenny Levine about keeping libraries alive using cool new technology, including gaming. Lots of great insight on customer experience.
Tell Ten Friends: by Jordan Behan, another great Canadian blogger, talking about marketing and new media.
BrandDNA: by Stan Lee about brands, ads, and marketing. I love his cool pics of interesting ad finds!
Customer Relations: by Meikah Delid, focused on customer service. Check out her Friday column of positive customer service experiences from bloggers; I love the positive approach! (Note: she included my Westin post in her post last Friday – thanks, Meikah!)
Write Now is Good: Kristin Gorski writes about – writing! She is a great encouragement in my pursuit of blogging.
Let me know what you are reading lately!
(Photo credit: T. Carroll)