|Customer loyalty is the key aspect of a successful brand. If you can develop and maintain continuous loyalty, even through adversity and sell the to top 20 percent of that market share you can maintain your business. If you cannot, then you should not be in business.|
If you could achieve that goal, right now, for the next consumer who walks through your door, would you?
KNOWING WHAT YOU SELL
Kelloggs sells fun. Let me repeat that. Kelloggs sells fun. And they know it. They know their market, their target, their key selling points, their product and how to win customers for life when the opportunity presents itself, all for less than the cost of a single box of cereal. They were ready for the opportunity and excelled. Some companies are just lucky right?
There is a genuine life lesson here for any business. The other day my 5 year-old opened a box of cereal he desperately wanted us to buy. But he found the little "Scooby-Doo" premium search-and-find mystery card didn't work properly. We thought we would have to go to the store to get another box. Trust me. It is easier to drive to the store than listen to a child in distress over a perceived injustice. He does not get a cereal based on his anticipation of a really great toy very often so this was a treat that turned into potential disaster. How could I tell him he would not get his reward for behaving so well earlier that day? Hearing, "Oh thank you daddy" in my head while remembering those beautiful eyes swimming in disbelief that we bought him "that" cereal.
A WORKABLE SOLUTION
I did not have to drive to the store. He and his mother got on the phone and called the number listed on the box and you know what? The very same day a small puff package was sent out to us with a new card. The fluff-lined package contained the card but something more important. It cost Kelloggs 49¢ in metered postage. It had a label from the Kellogg Company with a computerized tracking system listing our correct address down to the zip plus four code. It had an auxiliary notice which stated that if we were expecting other items in addition to this package they would be mailed separately. I fully expected to find a coupon for 30¢ off on my "next" purchase.
I hate to tell you but if that was the case there would be no "next" purchase. Kids don't want next, they want now. I would not put a child through finding a disfunctional toy again and nether did Kelloggs. They sent a card. A brand new, working premium card, carefully packed with the protective strip on it. He peeled it back and spent the next twenty minutes playing the game. He kept showing us how accomplished he was in finding the "mystery items" by rubbing his tiny fingers up and down the card. He counted things and double-checked. He was getting a mental math workout by playing the card and developing fine motor skills.
PLAYING THE DAY AWAY
He put on his imitation "Fred" costume (the mystery solver from Scooby-Doo) which consists of blue jeans, a black belt (very important), a button down long-sleeve white shirt, socks and a pair of black shoes.
Do you know how Fred poses? If you watch the cartoon, whenever Fred is not speaking his hands are in his pockets and he angles himself off a straight line. So my little one stands just like Fred when solving mysteries. His whole day consisted of playing mystery-solver extraordinaire. He had a blast. And the card went wherever he went. This card may be meaningless to an adult, but to a child it represents a world of possibilities. It was wonderfully conceived and executed. And it shows.
ADDING UP THE COST
Thanks to Kelloggs. Their padded Kraft envelope arrived safely with no damage. Their customer service attendant took every bit of information down correctly and processed the order immediately. They did everything right. There was obviously an entire staff devoted to making this happen. When you add up the individual components that little package probably cost the company nearly $2.00 in parts, labor, overhead like the phone line, etc. Maybe more.When you add in training. Designing the program itself. The physical space required to employ the staff. Meetings. A hierarchy planned to ensure quality control start to finish. It may have cost them a bundle.
But they won a customer for life. They sacrificed the profit on an entire box or two of their product to make a child happy. They sacrificed one box of many this child will consume in his life. And his children. I can picture the day when he is sitting explaining to his grandkids how Kelloggs once mailed him a package because the toy in the box didn't work right. Really grandpa? Companies do that? Yes they do. They had good foresight. He will never forget who did not let him down. Neither will his parents.
WHOEVER SAID YOU CAN'T BUY LOYALTY WAS AN IDIOT
Were you expecting the other shoe to drop? It won't. Often I examine a marketing program and find the flaws immediately. Today we look at Kelloggs as a shining example of a company that knows its product.
Kelloggs sells fun. Should we repeat it? And you thought they sold cereal or toys in boxes.
How well do you know your product?
Ask us to review your efforts. You may be pleased. You may be shocked. But we will all have fun in the process.