the spark.perkonomics.how random actsof kindness arechanging the world.
The power of trends is noflash in the pan.Trends aren’t just marketing flannel or data-spin. These are broadscalecultural patterns that are influencing behaviour, opinion and expectationsin huge swathes of people across the globe. Their importance to brandsand their interactions with customers should not be underestimated.Tapping into the right trend in your strategic planning can give your brandunprecedented social relevance. More importantly, it can accelerate yourbusiness beyond your competitors – especially in commoditised markets.It’s a competitive advantage that some of the world’s most forward-thinking businesses have already recognised – as you’ll see in thefollowing pages.You’ll also see that it is deeply rooted in our own different approach,which is why we’ve included one of our own examples here.We hope you find these stories as inspirational as we did. We’vedeliberately included some questions and challenges to sparkconversations within your own organisation. If you’d like to joinin the debate, feel free to drop me a line, or you can comment onour blog at http://www.geronimo.co.uk/blog/.Scott CooperHead of Innovation, Geronimoscott.firstname.lastname@example.orgCall me on 020 7467 9890 ext. 229to join in the conversation.
Oooh howlovely I wasn’t expecting that.A new breed of perks and privileges is satisfying Random acts of kindness will delight customers andpeople’s ever-growing desire for novel forms of have delivered great results for our clients. But theystatus and convenience. (Thanks to web 2.0 and require careful planning to deliver tangible ROI.the rise of customer empowerment, it’s no longer Delivered in the right way, these initiatives will leavegood enough to meet expectations. Brands must individuals not just pleased, but grateful. Gratitudeexceed them.) is powerful social glue, as well as a potent emotion to inspire and potentially profit from.Appropriately delivered, perks foster strongcustomer loyalty. They can also make for invaluable We hope you’ll be surprised and delighted by thePR. The media love perk stories, particularly if examples we have brought together here.they’re unorthodox; and customers enjoy relatingstories about unexpected privileges. They’re statussymbols as much as conversation starters.
Interfloragives free flowers to Twitter users in need of cheering up We particularly liked this engagement activity by Interflora… it goes to show that little gestures can add real gloss to big marketing spends. “In September 2010, Interflora launched a social media campaign designed to brighten up the lives of Twitter users by sending them flowers. As part of the campaign, Interflora monitored Twitter, looking for users who they believed might need cheering up. Once found, the melancholic Tweeters were contacted directly and sent a bouquet of flowers as a surprise.” Source: trendwatching.com. According to Nielsen, the two most “trusted” sources of information are: “Recommendations from people known” and “Consumer opinion posted on-line”. So the questions we would ask you: “What’s your story? Which conversations do you have the credibility to start?”
Airpoints Fairygrants passengers their airport and flying points wishes We travel all over the world for stimulation: South Africa, the USA, Australia and New Zealand are favourite hunting grounds. Here, Air New Zealand have linked research and prizes to bring about true customer collaboration. “New Zealand-based Airpoints Fairy by Air New Zealand is an online service that grants users their wishes for points top-ups, access to first class lounges and upgrades. The wishes are granted largely at random, but a convincing reason and a polite demeanour seem to help users see theirCollaboration is a big part of empowering wishes come true.customers – giving them the remit tomake a difference to what a brand does. Users can make wishes via Twitter to @airpointsfairy,In your own world, what matters most to spelling out their desires. The Airpoints Fairy thenyour customers? And how can you give tweets the lucky ones to let them know that theirthem the opportunity to influence how wishes have come true. Magical.”that looks? Source: trendwatching.com.
beyondHyatt’s service the call of duty
There are a few shining examples of staff-driven programmes: Dell and Best Buy being the most well-known. From 30-minute interviews with nearly 5000 respondents, Edelman found in their Trust Barometer that “conversations with employees” were the most trusted source of information from a company; more than the CEO. Hyatt’s approach stood out as a smart way of linking two insights: perkonomics + consumers’ trust in staff. “Hyatt Hotels has launched a staff-led campaign which empowers employees to give Gold Passport guests ‘pleasant surprises’ to delight them during their stay. Originally coined as ‘random acts of generosity’, surprises include the company picking up the bar tab, a complimentary massage or free breakfast. Beats the ‘turning down service’ for sure.” Source: trendwatching.com.McKinsey’s recent research into “The Rise of the Networked Enterprise” iswell worth a read. The use of social network tools within an organisationproduces significant returns on investment. Collaboration and speed ofaccess to knowledge significantly improve the effectiveness of marketing,amongst a raft of other benefits. So what do you do to leverage all theideas of the employees to impact marketing ROI?
delights Geronimo surprises and ING Direct customersIn the depth of the economic downturn, rate cutsand scarcity of cash had driven customer interestin savings to record lows. Geronimo’s targeted‘Random Acts of Kindness’ programme forING Direct brought a little lightness to the gloom.Reinforcing ING Direct’s promise that ‘Saving FeelsGood’, we sent savers a range of unexpected treats,from movies to sweets.The initiative brightened the outlook for ING Directtoo; helping them generate record retention levelsand achieve no.1 ranking in the sector Net PromoterScores for the very first time. The key word to bear in mind is “targeted” … we don’t advocate sending surprise and delights to every customer, just those who represent either the biggest risk to defection or the best opportunity for income growth. Where would you target this activity?
satisfiesKellogg’shunger for the things we KraveThis FMCG story demonstrates what we call Social media can be a double-edged‘activation’; an activity which invites customers sword. Get it wrong and you’ll beto participate, or better still, to lead the charge. sliced and diced. Get it right and those you engage will do a great brand job“Kellogg’s has unveiled a social media campaign for you. A lot of brands knee-jerk intoand site for the new chocolate cereal brand, Krave. the big platforms like Facebook andVisitors to the site can earn virtual points by doing YouTube. In actual fact, energisingthings like inviting friends via Facebook. These customer reviews can make a biggerpoints can then be used to bid for money-can’t-buy difference to the customer buyingexperiences, such as concert tickets and backstage journey. Have you prioritised andpasses. Just add milk.” Source: trendwatching.com. assigned roles to each of the key digital platforms?
Whilst this case study might seem a bit far-fetched and categorised as ‘nice’ rather than rooted in a business need, it isn’t. Any motor insurer will tell you that the perfect scenario is lots of premium- paying customers who don’t drive much = less accidents = less claims. A key question to ask of your colleagues: Do we really reward the behaviour we seek from our customers?It’s all aboutthe bikefor Sao Paulo commutersThis one is from an unlikely source “Brazil-based insurance company Porto Seguro is one of the top three– an insurer in Brazil. But what a Brazilian property and casualty insurers. Since 2008, the organisationgreat example of ‘rewarding the has offered free bicycles to customers who want to avoid Sao Paulo’sbehaviour you seek’. grid-locked traffic. Customers can leave their cars in one of the bank’s affiliated parking places and continue to their destination on a bike, which is free to use until they return to pick up their car. How’s that for a spin on ‘free’?” Source: trendwatching.com.