Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you haven’t started thinking about ways to show your fans the love this year, now is a great time to start. Customer appreciation ideas should be flowing all year long, but February and Valentine’s Day offer an added opportunity to show fans you’re listening, you appreciate them and you value the relationship. Here are five brands that have really nailed it.
Honda’s fans aren’t shy about their love of the brand, regularly sharing photos of the company with custom tattoos, “Honda” shaved onto their head, and how the brand has enhanced their life. When Honda reached a million “likes” on Facebook, they launched a “Honda Loves You Back” campaign. The campaign showed the different ways the brand loved their fans, such as one employee who shaved a fan’s name onto their head and the corporate headquarters with a fan’s named cut into the grass. A little creativity and quirkiness (and little cost!) resulted in fans truly feeling like the brand valued them. Check out some of the campaign photos on Facebook.
This toy company puts the power in the hand of the consumer. According to their Facebook page, “Squishable.com is a democracy! Your votes decide which animals get made…” Fans can vote on which toys go into production next, and customers can even submit their own designs to be voted on. There’s no better way to show that you value customer feedback than actually having them vote on product!
Last year for Valentine’s Day, Pizza Hut took advantage of the fact that most people wait until the very last second to buy gifts for loved ones. Couple that with the ongoing desire to always provide value and fun to fans, they created their #LastMinuteLovers promo, where customers could tweet them with a cry for help for the special day. Pizza Hut promised a delivery in time for Valentine’s Day of a special “Eau de Pizza Hut” perfume and a gift card.
Free stuff is an easy win and a popular way to make fans feel like they are appreciated. Sprinkles frequently offers hides a “secret word” on their social properties, and customers can whisper that word to redeem a free cupcake in-store. Free stuff is common, but what makes this one particularly great is that it’s a regular part of their business. Not a special promo, but something they do all the time. It’s simple, low cost and doesn’t require fans to jump through hoops. That’s love.
When AT&T reached two million fans on Facebook, they got creative in how they celebrated. Rather than just thanking people, they made personalized “thank you” videos to fans (over 2,000 videos were made!). Fans could share why they were awesome via a Facebook app, and the brand chose the best ones to respond to with their “house band.” These days, companies are getting creative with the thank you messages, as opposed to a boring generic social update.
In searching for ways companies show the love, one example I was looking for was of a company that takes their online listening to the next level. Every company claims to listen to fans and that feedback via social media is important. Customer service is a given in the online space, but taking common complaints, or themes, and making changes based on what you’re hearing online is less common. There are some brands (Dell and Best Buy are two that come to mind) that excel at customer service, but it’s rare to hear a company say “This has been a common theme on our social media sites, and we’ve made a change.” Listen. Then change. And then tell your fans you changed because of them. Isn’t that the truest form of love?
Customer appreciation ideas don’t have to be costly or complicated. Quirky and fun are helpful, but it really comes down to reaching as many people as possible and making them feel valued.
What are some of your favorite examples of customer appreciation ideas? Add to the list in the comments.