Target Flipbook Coupons

Target Flipbook Coupons

Received a little red book in the mail from Target today. It was a flipbook full of coupons. Once I showed my two young children (3 and 5) they had lot's of fun with it. Will we use the coupons? Hard to say, but they are certainly getting more attention and will have a longer lifespan in our house than a typical stack of coupons. You can watch the show here:

Kudos to Target for trying something fun and new. Now to figure out a way to tear out a coupon without destroying the show.

You work hard to make sure your customers are happy. Don't waste happy customers. How easy is it for your customers to share with their friends? Learn more

IKEA: it's all about the arrows

IKEA: it's all about the arrows

We had some visitors in from out of state last week. One of the things they had on their list to do while in sunny Arizona was to visit IKEA. That in and of itself is remarkable. How many home furnishing stores do people have on their list of vacation must do's?

So we made the twenty minute trip to IKEA. We first became aware of IKEA while living in Singapore as expats for a few years. Believe me, IKEA was remarkable in Singapore. Big wide walk ways, furniture that wasn't exclusively black lacquer, and the prices were reasonable. It's still remarkable even here in Arizona where there are many other places that also have wide walk ways, furniture that is not black lacquer and reasonable prices. Why? Here's my reason: the big arrows on the floor.

IKEA has thought through the complete user experience and leaves nothing to chance. The instruction signs start in the parking lot. The first sign I saw this time was a sign telling me they take everything back, no questions asked. That is a great sign to be greeted with as you head for the front door! Each step of the way there are signs and arrows giving helpful instructions. It's a huge place with a ton of options, it could be very overwhelming, but the arrows give calm assurance you are headed the right way. It's all about the arrows that lead through thousands of products and then straight to the cash registers.

So, does your customer experience need some arrows?

More happy customers. More repeat sales. More referrals. Learn more

Best of Seeds 9/4/06 to 9/8/06


9/4/06 to 9/8/06

Posting today from a beautiful, cool, valley nestled between majestic Utah mountains. Isn't technology great!
Thanks for the great feedback on the new Promoterz site. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here. We've also put a new look on Seeds of Growth. As always, your feedback is welcome!

Here are the best of the week:

From Seeds--The Starbucks Online Coupon Fiasco--Venti Size

Online coupons work! Sometimes too well! Starbuck's had an online coupon work too well this week. Here are some ideas for making sure you are happy when your online coupon gets shared (which is the goal).

From Other Business Blogs

Number 3-- The employee experience matters. from Brand Autopsy.

You've heard of all the problems Dell is having. Turns out they have tracked many of the customer service issues back to a policy to hire more temporary workers--turnover shot up to 300%! The lesson: if you want to deliver a remarkable customer experience, you have to first give your employees a remarkable experience.

Number 2--Ultra-personalized banking from Springwise.

I'm not pushing credit cards here, but this is a great example of a company inviting its customers to "create" and personalize the product they want. Two benefits: 1) the customers are happy and more likely to show and tell others and 2) the company learns what its customers want. What can you invite your customers to do?

Number 1--Compromise: How to make breakfast from Seth Godin.

Great example of how compromising can destroy remarkable. What are you compromising?

Have a great week!
Dave

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Best of Seeds is a service of Promoterz--Happy Customers Talking

Customers who feel that you are listening to them are more likely to recommend you to a friend. How do your customers know that you are listening? Learn more

The Starbucks Online Coupon Fiasco--Venti Size

The Starbucks Online Coupon Fiasco--Venti Size

Just about everybody with a blog commented on Starbuck's recent problems with online coupons. You can read the story here . John from Brand Autopsy asserts they never would have done something that dumb in his day (used to work there) and recommends more limited expiration dates. Seth has some additional principles for avoiding such issues. Countless others also weighed in on how it could have been avoided and what Starbuck's should do now that it has happened. All good stuff, but I hope the baby (online coupons) doesn't get thrown out with the bath water.

In a nutshell, Starbucks created an online coupon with about a thirty day expiration date for a free iced coffee drink. They gave the coupon to a few employees in select areas and expected it to stay limited. It didn't. It took off like wildfire thanks to the internet and they ended up posting signs in their stores saying "regretfully" they would no longer be valid at any Starbuck locations.

In my mind, the real story is not that online coupons don't work, but quite the opposite: online coupons work well--in this case too well. Remember the old days when you had to pay to get coupons printed in a newspaper or to hand out. You had to pay for every one! Not so on the internet. They multiply without costing you a dime. Isn't that just what you want to have happen? It should be. So the lesson is this: make sure that any offer you put on an online coupon is something that you would be happy to see proliferate. Tools to do that? Limit the expiration date, make it a "buy something to get something" offer, give away something with no hard costs. Have other ideas for creating coupons you're happy to see proliferate? Post them here.

You work hard to make sure your customers are happy. Don't waste happy customers. How easy is it for your customers to share with their friends? Learn more

Bringing the Diners Back

Bringing the Diners Back

Restaurant Hospitality recently listed some of the tactics that big casual dining chains are employing to try to lure diners back to their restaurants after suffering a poor 3rd quarter showing. Consensus seems to be that same store sales have slowed down due to economic conditions, an increase in the number of casual dining restaurants and a shift of consumers to a relatively new category of food service called fast casual. Fast casual is quicker than full sit down service and higher quality than basic fast food. Big chain solutions?

Reduce Prices--Applebee's has got a dinner combo including dessert for $9.99, TGI Friday's has got appetizers discounted up to 50%, Cheesecake factory has reduced portion and prices significantly on lunches, and Outback has reduced steaks by $1.

New Menu Items--Applebee's is going to try out star power by teaming with Tyler Florence from Food Network, 23 new items on TGI Friday's menu, and Cheesecake factory has 16 new items on the menu.

Seems like nothing more than the obvious to me. Any time sales go the wrong direction the knee-jerk reaction is to reduce prices and add features. Eventually that strategy is not going work. Great news for those of us that aren't big chains, but it is going to take some effort. The Restaurant Hospitality article notes:


you may have to fight to keep the business you've got, but it's still there to be gotten.

So how do you fight? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Get in touch with your customers. Walking around asking them how their meal was is great, but what happens when they walk out the door? Do you have a way to stay in touch with them? Start gathering email addresses and stay in touch regularly with your loyal clientele.
  2. Ask your customers for feedback. Hopefully you didn't wait till sales dropped to realize that your customers want a high quality food faster. Is there someway you can meet that need for them? What else do your customers want? You should be closer to your customers than the big guys and able to move faster.
  3. Get your word-of-mouth on! The best way to "fight" for more business is to develop a force of loyal customers that are actively telling their friends and associates what a great restaurant you run. Don't leave it to chance, get a program in place that makes it easy for your customers to spread the word.

Word of mouth fills seats, now is the time to get started.

More happy customers. More repeat sales. More referrals. Learn more

Seeds from the blogworld
We search the business blog world looking for posts that illustrate principles, or "Seeds", that if followed, or "planted", will help small businesses grow. We list them here for your convenience. Enjoy.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.
After describing modern consumers and their desire to watch or read what they want, when they want, the current issue of Business Week concludes: The result: a serious case of attention deficit for ...more.
What is the most compelling thing about your business from your customers' perspective? Is it remarkable? ...more.
Another example of the power of promoters. Shade Clothing sells undershirts for women that are longer than normal for those that aren't interested in showing the world their belly button. It was fou ...more.
I read recently about a musician--a cello player to be exact--that moved to New York City. She didn't know anyone in the city and was looking for opportunities to play her cello. Her solution? She ...more.
I read a great article recently about George Washington. As I read about his amazing leadership characteristics it occurred to me that they are the same characteristics any entrepreneur or business l ...more.
On the company the effect is like being assimilated into the Borg, but for users of their software it's like having a friend with a malignant brain tumor. You're going to have to say "goodbye" soon t ...more.
What says summer more than traveling carnivals? Cotton candy, hot dogs, rides that go around and around until you puke! Does life get any better than that? I submit that it cannot! The blog worl ...more.
Remarkable is the key here. These native american kids are remarkable in and of themselves. Their product follows suit. They have figured out government issues, food serving issues, product, marketi ...more.
In the cluttered marketplace we compete in, I don't think the power (and necessity) of staying in touch can be overemphasized. I learned the lesson again last week--thankfully in a good way. It had ...more.

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