Just before the lockdown a few weeks ago a group of 8 of us were having a drink after work.  Rebecca, a fabulous copywriter here at Agency Inc, reminded us of a story about someone that worked in her regular coffee shop here at Somerset House.

The friendly barista at Pennethorne’s was wearing a distinctive striped jumper which was lilac, purple and grey. Rebecca thought it was brilliant, so she told him “I love your jumper!”.

“Oh, you can have it,” replied the barista, and he took it off and gave it to her.

Rebecca was shocked by this extravagant act of generosity and tried to return it. However, he gently insisted that it was a gift. His logic was simple:  Rebecca liked the jumper, so it was her jumper now. People should be good to one another, he said.

Rebecca told everyone in the office what had happened to her. She put on the jumper. She told her friends. She told friends of friends.

She told us again that evening over drinks as it was such an unusual story. Rebecca told us about the barista, his family, and where he’s from.

And of course, she recommended Pennethorne’s Coffee Shop in the New Wing at Somerset House. The best coffee, the best service, the best people, any time of the year.


Finding your jumper

The takeaway from this takeaway experience is not that you should start ripping off your New Balances anytime someone says “cool trainers” or even that good B2B marketing is predicated on commodified kindness.

It’s that giving someone a genuine and surprising story to tell means they’ll tell it. You create a relationship by honouring what’s particular to your customer. Advocacy happens when you create a moment.

Simply put, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do.

The narrative the customer creates around you – that’s what makes people talk and write about you and recommend you to the people around them.


Wrapping up warm

From a business standpoint, creating a moment means evaluating how you focus on your most important customers. What would your version of giving away your jumper look like? What story do you want your customer to tell? Then, surprise them with something meaningful, something they would welcome, something unexpected.

You can then extend this philosophy to your next group of priority customers and amplify its effects through your digital channels. Set the example, based on giving, not receiving more.

Everything follows from this principle: including celebrating staff and sales managers that go the extra mile to support their customers and fulfil their unspoken needs.

And that’s your marketing plan. That’s the secret to standing out in business. People should be good to each other –– sometimes it’s just that simple.