Great marketing can seem so simple at times. Turning mistakes into big wins seems to me to be the easiest way to impress customers these days (not that you want to make mistakes in the first place).
I got Guitar Hero for the Wii a few months ago - and found out that the disc needed to be replaced because the original didn't have the proper sound capabilities. I filled out a web form and received a self-mailer that had shipping already paid. The note from Activision said a disc replacement would come in 4-6 weeks. Just before we went on vacation, I dropped the disc into the mail and hoped that it wouldn't disappear forever.
About 3 weeks later, I got an automated e-mail telling me that they had received the disc and were processing it. 2 days later, I got a note that it had shipped. Exactly 5 weeks from the day I dropped the disc in the mail, I had a replacement disc, as promised.
A week later, while I was away on a business trip my wife called and told me I had a box from "Red Octane." I had no idea what it was and asked her to open it. To my surprise, the box contained a sweet Guitar Hero faceplate. How cool. I'd never buy myself one of these, but always wanted one - it's like they knew!
Call me impressed. That's one solid way to bring a smile to a customers face and build a brand. As a bonus, my 8 year old flipped out and did her best rockin guitar hero impression after she saw the new guitar.
The lessons for marketers:
- Admit your mistakes publicly and move to make them right
- Under promise and over deliver
- Suprise and delight