OK, There is this little secret love affair that I’ve been withholding from you. It all started with an innocent visit to my mailbox in late September which included a mailing with the pictured reusuable coupon for a free bagel from Einstein’s Bagels every Friday before 11AM. Each week since then this coupon has been a gateway to sesame bagels, onion bagels, garlic bagels, pumpernickel bagels and exotic new flavors such as Honey Whole Wheat! Then the seasonal pumpkin bagel arrived which was a nice change of pace. In a year that has likely been the most challenging in my life (and for almost everyone else I know too) since 2002 in the economic aftermath of 9/11/2001, the unconditional and consistent love of experiencing and sampling these bagels each week this Fall has been quite the welcome treat!
The relationship probably works so well because it is really simple and low maintenance, I need to take the coupon to my local Einstein Bros Bagels location prior to 11AM each Friday to experience a freshly made bagel. But rather than a one time only usage, the coupon remains with me after experiencing the bagel. It sits on my counter. Quietly. Yet I see it several times a week. And I admit to thinking about it more often than that.
So why do I like this reusuable coupon so passionately?
- It Allows Me To Experience The Actual Current Attributes of The Brand – This is critical! It’s a unique piece of marketing in that regard alone as experiencing the attributes of the brand is what it’s all about!
- It Brings Unique Warmth That Builds A Relationship – The reusable coupon’s giving nature allows one to fell warm and fuzzy about the experience.
- It Gives Me Something To Look Forward To Each Week – This is pretty obvious. Heck this blog post is being written on a Tuesday!
- It Is Habit Forming – Getting in the habit of going to Einstein Bros Bagels each Friday would be unimagiable in any other way.
- It Encourages Risk Taking / Trying New Things – I likely would not have tried the Honey Whole Wheat Bagel had I not be incentives for a free trial of it’s attributes.
- It Serves as a Model to Mobile Marketing Pioneers – Image time windows where merchants provide deals everywhere and scan your phone in some way to create mesaurability of Word of Mouth and other types of unique marketing offers. The possibilities and combinations are endless. Get beyond the DNA of purely outbound marketing and into inbound and word of mouth possibilities.
All of the above are positive attributes that I am quite fond of and appreciate greatly in engaging marketing that builds affinity for experiencing a brand’s attributes. I love this kind of marketing!
So the coupon expires on 11/27, will my love affair with the coupon will certainly come to an end, but will I keep it a drawer like an aging love letter? Don’t know yet. What I do know is we should reward innovative and effective marketing of this nature as it’s a great pleasure to interact with when compared to non-relevant outbound marketing messages that are still too often the norm.
It would be interesting to see the vibe of this coupon applied to their website design, as according to Compete.com the top 5 search entry terms to the site are currently branded search terms and account for ~60% of the site traffic currently and the word Bagel is not in the title tag of the homepage. Hopefully the online experience will one day rival the vibe that was created by the reusable coupon that sparked my secret love affair…
Companies should have that goal to create a passionate love affair with their customers. Applications for love affairs with me are currently being accepted…