As part of my role as Growth Director for Syrup Marketing, I try to find courageous brands with whom we can partner to help them better serve their customers. That's a nice way of saying that my job involves some cold prospecting. Yuck! I don't really know anybody that enjoys that part of their gig! No one wants to be sold to. Consequently, the response to even the friendliest, gentle inquiry can range from crickets or polite rejection to outright hostility. Even when you see a company that fits an ideal client profile or "sweet spot," (see what I did there) how do you reach out to them in a way that is human, warm and engaging?
That's one of the ways we try and help our clients, and we also try to practice what we preach. Everything from your marketing collateral to your email headlines and copy should be both sticky and sweet. You want someone to look forward to receiving an email from you, and you need your content to be memorable. It's why we take great care to even make sure our clients' and our own email signatures are memorable.
Earlier this year, I was challenged to reach out to more consumer product goods (CPG) companies. Our team is crushing it for our B2C clients, and I'm charged with finding other brands we might serve. So, last week I visited Americasmart Atlanta to look for some new prospects to which I would try and connect. One company that jumped out at me was Freaker (www.freakerusa.com). I shot them a quick note on their online form on their site.
I, nearly instantly, received a generous response.
Today, when I walked into my office, I was greeted by a lovely surprise.
I was expecting a little product sample. What I didn't expect was such a human, personable, thoughtful and generous gift. That's a hand-drawn picture personalized to me showing that they took the time to see what our company does. The packaging was exquisite, fun and classy; black tissue with a gold sticker. The only problem is there is now an inner-office fight to see who gets to take home the pancake and syrup-themed socks and "koozie."
In our system we call Growth Factor, we preach about the importance of delighting your customers after their first engagement. We define delight as "a surprise moment of joy." Freaker delighted me today with the care package (I felt like a kid at summer camp!) However, it doesn't purely fit our definition of delight. You see, I'm not yet a customer. This is marketing. This is brand identity. This is just awesome!
They took some time and cost to send me this package. If this is how they treat business development folks that reach out to them, imagine how they treat their customers! What will be the net effect of their efforts? Well, for starters, I'm writing this blog. I'm following them on their social accounts and will highlight them to my own network of 17K+. My company will do the same, and use their care package as an example to future prospects. I'm going to buy their products for my children, give them as gifts, and explore if they could be used as fundraisers for some non-profits on which I serve. My company just might place an order to include the socks as a delight piece that we send to our own clients. In other words, their personality, generosity, humanity, and kindness is going to yield a healthy return. It's great marketing.
If you dig into the company, you'll see they were featured on Shark Tank, but not funded. I'm glad. I don't think they're going to need the outside investors. If you dig deeper you'll see that they have had several successful Kickstarter campaigns. They're even featured in a documentary about Kickstarter. They're crushing it, and they're committed to creating American jobs, or as their packaging states, "Made in the Freakin' USA."
Here's a 2 step application for you. Know you own identity, and be human in your connection with others. Have good manners. Be kind. Have fun doing it. You just might have a little marketing freak(er) in you waiting to come out and play.