I just came across a really excellent website called Marketing Lagniappe i.e. purple goldfish, is any time a business goes above and beyond to provide a ‘little something extra’. It’s that unexpected surprise that’s thrown in for good measure. The blogger is identifying 1001 little extra moments where companies go beyond the call of duty to deliver something special.

This is a really fantastic initiative which ties in with an earlier blog that I wrote called “you can’t get customer loyalty so stop trying” Marketing Lagniappe captures in essence what I was talking about, rather than talking about and trying to get loyalty companies need to be focusing on the small things that build relationships and loyalty will follow.

This has become my favourite blog please spread the word and let people know about this website there are excellent examples. I’ve included the top 10 below and you can enjoy the full list by clicking here

1. DoubleTree Hotels (a tri-fecta submitted by Matthew Hirsch, Kelly Leslie and Tom Haidinger) They give warm chocolate chip cookies to all guests when they check in.

2. Whole Foods (submitted by Claire Gallo) When you shop at Whole Foods in West Hartford, CT and buy fish, meat or poultry . . . they offer to give you ice for free. Very nice touch, especially if you have other errands or plan to shop around town.”

3. Les Schwab Tires (submitted by Cody Goldberg) Two great examples from Les Schwab Tires. The service people jog to your car when you pull in to the service center. They fix flats for free . . . whether you bought tires there or not.

4. Trader Joe’s (submitted by Amy DeRobertis). There’s a fun theme going on here — from Giuseppe Joe’s to Trader Jose’s, the notion of no middle man is seen on its product labels as well as in the mentality of its Hawaiian shirt wearing ‘associates.’ And the ongoing bevy of free samples at its dedicated sampling stations keeps you interested in the constantly evolving choices and happy rather than devastated when your favorite entree goes missing. There’s bound to be something just as great coming down the pike.

5. Caribou Coffee (submitted by Laura Howells) Caribou Coffee gives you a complimentary chocolate-covered coffee bean with your coffee. This makes me so happy that I seek out the Caribou Coffee whenever I have a layover at the Minneapolis airport. Take that Starbucks.

6. Double shot of Starbucks to retort (from John Miller) The free cup of brewed coffee with a pound of beans at Starbucks. Not only is it a $2 perceived value, it is instant gratification and appreciation of the brand/ product. (from Peg Connor) Starbucks, in partnership with iTunes, gives away a free “pick of the week” song every tuesday…you load the code into your iphone and, bingo, you’ve just expanded your musical palate at no charge. I take pains to patronize local businesses, but this perk (pun intended) compels me to stop by Starbucks once a week.

7. Wells Fargo (from Suzanne Lainson) I’ve been going to the same savings-and-loan for years. When it was World Savings, they offered free coffee in the lobby. It wasn’t good, but it was something. When World became Wachovia, they eliminated the coffee. Now that Wachovia has become Wells Fargo, the branch I go to (I don’t know if they are all like this) is now offering GOURMET coffee. Yay!! It’s very nice to have a good cup of coffee when I am waiting in line.

8. Lexus of Greenwich (submitted by Tom Haidinger) – The Lexus of Greenwich Service Team is outstanding and delivers lagniappe in a very meaningful way. With a typical dealership service experience, the “little something extra” you receive is a grease covered paper floor mat left behind (but otherwise you can’t really tell if your car has been serviced). At Lexus of Greenwich you get your car back looking like its brand new – they wash your car inside and out and vacuum it too! It simply feels good to get into your “freshly serviced” car when its been washed as well!

9. Mario’s Barber Shop (submitted by Jeff Mard) Free lolipop w/haircut (they have cool lolipops, not just regular ones)… does the trick for my 5 yr old every time.

10. The Fillmore (submitted by Gene Willis) One from San Francisco…The Fillmore, a famous music auditorium which has hosted everyone from The Grateful Dead to Snoop Dogg….at the end of each show they hand out a limited number of music posters….free. Each poster has it’s own unique artwork, and the date of the show and artist. People collect the posters, and sometimes look forward to getting the poster as much as the show. Generations of posters are framed and make-up the walls. Also, when you enter the Fillmore, there is a bucket of free apples and someone who welcoming you to the Fillmore. No wonder it’s one of the most loved places to see a band perform live.

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