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Newsletter #919: The “Be There for Them” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

People love to talk about moments when a company stepped up to be there for them through amazing customer service, random acts of kindness, or emergency relief. But you don’t have to have a huge budget or a huge cause to show customers your support.

Here are some ways to be there for them:

1. When they’re stuck in traffic
2. When they need birthday ideas
3. When they need a ride
4. Check it out: The Scale of the Universe

1. When they’re stuck in traffic

Surprise and delight are some of the most fun ways to spark word of mouth conversations. Some people do this with above-and-beyond customer service, giveaways, or random acts of kindness. Coca-Cola did it with great timing. In Bogota, Colombia, drivers spend an average of four hours per day in traffic (and you thought your commute was bad). Coke saw rush hour as an opportunity to make their drive better and to pull off a buzzworthy stunt: They turned a billboard into a drive-in movie screen on the side of the highway, took over an FM station for the audio, and handed out Coca-Cola and popcorn to commuters.

The lesson: How can you turn a daily hassle into something surprising, delightful, and worth talking about?

Learn more: Hispanically Speaking News

2. When they need birthday ideas

Do you collect customer data? Stuff like emails, birthdays, and customer recommendations? Why not do something amazing with it? Adagio Teas, for example, knows how to put their data to work in remarkable ways. They send reminder emails to their customers when their friend’s birthday is coming up. They also include some tips for what teas they know the friend buys. That’s much more personal and helpful than a generic coupon, and since it’s already in an email, that customer can easily forward on the information to other friends who are also likely to buy for the birthday boy or girl.

The lesson: What do you already know about your customers that could help you be there for them?

3. When they need a ride

Sponsorships are much more remarkable when they make sense — and this one made sense: MillerCoors sponsored the Chicago Transit Authority’s Penny New Year’s Eve Rides. The timing here shows that MillerCoors actually cares about drunk driving prevention on one of the most likely nights. That takes their motto “Great beer, great responsibility,” a step further — and it’s something a whole train’s worth of passengers will be talking about.

The lesson: How can you be there to show your customers you truly care about a cause?

Learn more: Chicagoist

4. Check it out: The Scale of the Universe

Zoom in and out from the size of the smallest of the small to the entire universe with this interactive scale. (Prepare to have your mind blown.)

Check it out: The Scale of the Universe

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