There’s a restaurant in Chicago called Ann Sather. They are famous for their cinnamon buns, which are served as an appetizer with every meal. (Which is awesome — starting dinner with a 500-calorie dessert.)
If you show up at the end of the day, they’ll give you boxes of the buns for free.
Every one they don’t sell at the end of the day is useless to them. But when they give it away, it turns into a word of mouth marketing tool. Everyone who gets a freebie will be telling anyone they see about how generous the staff at Ann Sather is.
Lesson: Every spoiling asset is a marketing tool.
- Unused hotel rooms: Use every empty suite for an upgrade or give empty rooms to families with kids
- Car rentals: Reward someone with an unused upgrade
- Closeouts: Give an extra item to shoppers
- Samples: Donate them to schools and charities
- Employees: Ask underutilized staff to volunteer
- Tickets: Fill every unsold seat with a potential word of mouth advocate
Give it away before you throw it away. It’s worth a dozen referrals.