It's 9:27 a.m. The kids have all left for day camp. The house is quiet. The doorbell rings. When I open the door, I find a large white box sitting on my front porch. It's an early Christmas present from my friends at the Naked Juice headquarters in California!
Folks, this is how you make lifelong customer evangelists! Marketing guru Greg Steilstra calls it “touching [the driest tinder] with a match.” If you have a phenomenal product and you give your customers a first-hand experience with that product, you can be sure that they will do just what I'm doing now: They'll light up like a torch and tell the world! Let me tell you the story.
A couple of years ago, I stumbled on Naked Juice at a local health food store. I was immediately hooked. The drinks are beyond delicious. I started telling all my friends about these awesome, super-healthy juice smoothies. I've made more than a few converts along the way.
Then, in early 2009 I had an idea: I should start a fan club on Facebook. Surely there are more NJ-lovers out there I can share the bliss with. A few clicks later, the site was up and running.
As with most things, the initial build was slow. But within a few months, my little fan club had a couple hundred NJ fans and growing. Then I had another idea. Why not see if there were any NJ employees on Facebook and invite them to be part of the Page, even make them admins. I figured, getting news and insights straight from HQ would give me the best fan page on Facebook. After a bit of internet sleuthing, I found a couple of NJ staffers, made the invite and they enthusiastically accepted. We now have nearly 5,000 fans and it's an awesome experience. But the coolest part is that the folks at NJ have been super kind to me. When they have a new flavor, I know about it right away. When they launched the Acai Machine, they sent me a couple of samples. When they created the ball caps, they sent me one. And then today … well, you see what happened today. They have surprised me with this giant box of juice heaven, which includes samples of the new Chai Spiced Cider (which, as expected, is insanely delicious ... and I'm not really even an apple fan--the juice or the computer :-).
Question: Do you think there's any way on earth that I would ever switch from NJ to some wanna-be competitor? Not a chance. They have superior products, sure. But more importantly, they have superior brand management and customer relations. And I'm doing everything I can to help make sure they succeed in my little corner of the world.
Remember, they had me at “hello.” I was a rabid fan long before the fan club or the free samples. They didn't have to do any of those things. But they did. That's the mark of a great company.