Do Your Customers Feel Preferred?

While gathering with friends for a cookout a few weeks ago, we were discussing our plans for the upcoming weekend. My ears perked up when my neighbor said this:

“Well, I think I’m going to paint my bathroom and my shed because I got a coupon from Sherwin-Williams for being a preferred customer.”

To this, I responded: “Todd, did you just decide to paint because they sent you a coupon?” And he replied: “Well, no… I was thinking about doing some painting recently, and then they sent me a coupon so I decided ‘why not?’ And I’m a preferred customer!”

I haven’t seen the postcard, but my guess is that Sherwin-Williams sent out a lot of postcards to a not-so-elite list of customers and referenced a “preferred customer” discount of some sort. But regardless of how preferred my neighbor actually is, this postcard reached him at a time when he was considering some DIY, and the discount offered was enough to make him commit to starting with Sherwin-Williams. Marketing success!

From this small exchange, I take these two simple marketing reminders:

  • You never know when your prospects or customers are considering your product category. Be visible. Without that mailer/coupon, it’s very likely my neighbor would have woken up one morning, decided to paint that day and headed off to Lowe’s or Home Depot for supplies.
  • Customers like to feel special. Do what you can to make them feel (and stay) engaged with your brand.

If you’re curious, he chose “bagel” as his paint color. And no, marketing isn’t a normal conversation topic at our neighborhood cookouts, but sometimes I can’t help myself….

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