Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Surprised and delighted

I'm a glass half full kind of girl. I try to see the good in everything. I love spontaneity and surprises. I'd much rather have good things to say about a brand than not. I'm a maven, a connector and an influencer on a wide and varied array of subjects.

In an increasingly inter-connected world 6 degrees of separation are often more than ample. Touchgraph have an interesting app that shows the inter-connectivity clusters of your friends on Facebook. The results are really interesting when you then think about the potential of influential reach from a brand / word of mouth perspective.

I'm a coffee snob and not afraid to admit it. As my poison of choice, I'd rather have no coffee than bad coffee. I'm not the biggest fan of chain coffee shops, albeit I love the fact that they provide an alternative to sitting drinking in the pub.

I like what Starbucks are doing in the social media space but dislike their take on coffee. Maybe it's having lived in Italy but in my world a cappuccino is a game of thirds: a shot of espresso, made up with an equivalent amount of hot milk, and the same of foamy milk. Not a half litre of warm very loosely coffee flavoured milkshake.

But if I had to opt for a UK coffee chain of choice it would be Caffe Nero. I don't go very often but I will go the extra distance to visit one if take out coffee is in order. I have a loyalty card tucked in with my train pass. I pass a Caffe Nero at the end of the train station platform every morning and evening. So I'm already a convert and an advocate to some degree. Yesterday morning they were giving out little cards with coupons for a free coffee of your choice once a week for the next four weeks.

Wow! That's nice. What a surprise.

So this morning I stopped to take advantage of the offer and was hugely amused to find the 2 people in the queue in front of me pro-offering their vouchers in a somewhat sheep-ish this is too good to be true kind of way. So British.

But I bet they tell a few people. I'd also wager next time they are in the mood for take out coffee at the station they'll head for Caffe Nero, not one of the many other options. Goodwill, influential word of mouth and future sales all for the cost price of a free cup of coffee. Smart.

Surprising and delighting your existing or potential consumers doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.

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