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August 14, 2007

Just say it.

Why is it so hard for brands to say 'Thank you." to the people who buy their products?
It’s not like they don’t deserve it. They’ve just given you their money, contributed to your revenue, helped increase your market share, your stock price and to your professional success at the company.
So why are they so few and far between?
And why, when it does happen, are we so often taken aback?
I was at the Apple store in Manhattan this weekend, and after buying yet another ipod and a Nike plus, left the store when their greeter said to me, “Hey, thanks a lot.” His inflection and tone was one of a friend who truly appreciated me and what I had done for him. I responded, “You know, you’re welcome, it was my pleasure. I love your products.” Within that moment, my relationship with the Apple brand, which is already one bordering on that of a soul mate, was reinforced. I felt acknowledged, and prideful about my decision to once again contribute to Apple’s success, knowing they were contributing to mine. That reciprocity and respect is all too often ignored, to the peril of the brand.

Then today, Evan brings in a post card from Starbucks with one word on it. You guessed it…Thank you. Photo_1 For being such a good customer, they were reloading his credit card with $5.00 for him to use any way he wanted. No strings. It was signed “From your friends at Starbucks”. The tone, the manner was sincere and clear. “You have been there for us and we want you to know we know it.” What should be a “Duh!’ when it comes to any relationship, is the positive exception, when said genuinely and sincerely, (not cursorily or off a script) by a brand to a customer. Sometimes it’s the smallest acts that have the biggest return. They say, “Thank you,” I say,"I’ll be back."

by Karen Evans


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