January 7, 2013
The other day I went through the line at my local supermarket with, among other items, an open bag of potato chips. (Potato chips weren’t even on my shopping list but they looked so good and salty on the end-cap display, I just couldn’t resist.)
After scanning the bag of chips, the cashier handed the open bag back to me. I did my best to seal the bag before placing it in one of the existing packed grocery bags inside my cart. I then asked the cashier how often customers come through his line with an open bag of chips or nuts.
“All the time,” he said. “On weekends it’s ridiculous.”
At that moment, it occurred to me that this store was missing a “ridiculous” number of opportunities. Why not provide snacking customers with an unexpected pleasant surprise by offering them an inexpensive chip clip at the register? Perhaps the clip could be customized with the store’s logo, phone number and website? Or, better yet, magnetize the clip and print a suggestive message like, “Grocery List” beneath the store’s logo.
Eventually, customers are likely to place the magnet on their refrigerators to (as suggested) secure their grocery lists. Most consumers have two or more supermarkets located in their vicinity. In some cases, competing stores are directly across the street from each other. If a store’s logo is prominently displayed in the customer’s kitchen and is associated with a pleasant surprise (unexpectedly sealing his open bag of chips at the register), that might be just enough to influence him to turn right instead of left during his next grocery run.
Customers value pleasant surprises and, due to the nature of surprises, that which is unexpected tends to create a powerful lasting impression. What can you do in your own business to pleasantly surprise customers, causing them to remember you the next time they’re ready to repurchase?
Illustration by Aaron McKissen