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Newsletter #892: The “Good Deeds, Great Business” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Doing the right thing — or helping your customers do the right thing — is great for business. It’s also more fun and more rewarding. How you could do it:

1. Sell stuff for good deeds, not money
2. Share your accomplishments with everyone
3. Thank customers for doing good things
4. Check it out: The Fox is Black

1. Sell stuff for good deeds, not money

What if you could sell your stuff in exchange for good deeds instead of cash? That might not keep the lights on for long, but it sure is much more interesting than spending a bunch of money on expensive ads. That’s the thinking behind The Generous Store — a one-day pop-up location for chocolate maker Anthony Berg. In the store, each item was priced for a certain task the customer had to perform in order to “buy” it. The customers pledged to fulfill the task (things like, “Serve breakfast to a loved one” or, “Help clean a friend’s house”) by posting a promise on Facebook from iPads at the register.

The lesson: Great, crazy stunts like this aren’t so crazy when you think about how much fun customers have, how many new fans you earn, and how much press and goodwill you get from it. (And, when you think about how much you’re already spending on all those traditional ads everyone is ignoring.)

Learn more: Springwise

2. Share your accomplishments with everyone

Did you know Zippo made their 500-millionth lighter earlier this year? That’s incredible. But what’s even more awesome: All 620 of their employees had a hand in making it. They all lined up together between the plant and the Zippo museum a few hundred yards away, passing it down the line in pieces before the owner and CEO assembled and lit it. Most companies would have made a big press event out of it or just left it for the big wigs to experience — but Zippo chose to share it with everyone who helped make the company such an icon.

The lesson: Don’t forget to share the wins and celebrations with the people who helped make it happen.

Learn more: USA TODAY

3. Thank customers for doing good things

A great way to help make good things happen is to encourage and reward your customers for the good stuff they’re already doing. And you don’t have to wait for one of them to save the rainforest to do it. At retailer Buffalo Exchange, for example, they offer you a plastic sack at the register. But if you turn it down, they thank you by letting you donate 5 cents to one of a handful of charities they support. It’s not much, but each customer who does it leaves feeling great.

The lesson: Your customers are already doing good things — how can you encourage, support, and reward them for it?

4. Check it out: The Fox is Black

This blog is a mix of Gizmodo, Cool Hunting, and Good — but with it’s own unique personality. Every day, they’re sharing fascinating stuff. And while you’re there, be sure to check out their desktop wallpaper project featuring ready-to-use designs from some truly talented people.

Check it out: The Fox is Black

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