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Newsletter #900: The “Give Them a New Experience” 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.]

Great marketing does more than sell — it creates a remarkable experience we have to tell friends about. Here are a few great examples of how it can be done:

1. At dinner
2. In a photo booth
3. On Mars
4. Check it out: The Powerball Simulator

1. At dinner

Nobody likes it when someone pulls out a cell phone at dinner — not even the person doing it. But we can’t help it. We’re addicted. But at L.A.’s Eva Restaurant, they give you another option: They’ll take 5% off your bill if you leave your phone with the hostess. About half of their customers take them up on it — often enthusiastically so. It helps them create the dining experience they came for, they just needed a little help doing it.

The lesson: Incentives — even tiny ones — can be just the encouragement your customers need to truly experience your stuff the proper way.

Learn more: CNNMoney

2. In a photo booth

At the London Olympics, Adidas invited soccer fans into a photo booth to take photos and pledge support for their team. That’s cool and fun, but nothing too special — until soccer superstar David Beckham joined the booth to photobomb their pictures. For these soccer fans (fans big enough to wait in line just to send a message of support to their team), meeting Beckham was a life-changing moment. Adidas could have set up a booth and had Beckham do autographs, and they would have had a line around the block. But videos of autograph signings don’t get shared by millions of people.

The lesson: Smart marketers find ways to take the same resources and the same investment to create one-of-a-kind experiences for their fans.

Learn more: Brandflakes for Breakfast

3. On Mars

What’s life like on Mars? A month ago, we didn’t really know. But now, thanks to the Mars Curiosity rover and its amazing Twitter updates, we’re all finding out. And they’re not just stilted posts from a robot — they’re personable, human, first-person tweets. The @MarsCuriosity account makes jokes (like using the hashtag #fourthworldproblems), trades tweets with the likes Britney Spears, and shares regular photos from its adventures. The updates help their 1.2 million followers experience Mars like never before — and are creating a whole new generation of NASA supporters along the way.

The lesson: Changing the way you describe or present something to your fans and customers can change the entire experience (even when you’re actually doing the same old thing).

Learn more: Servant of Chaos

4. Check it out: The Powerball Simulator

We all understand the odds of winning the lottery aren’t great. But this simulator actually shows you just how hard it is. Try your lucky numbers and see what happens.

Check it out: Powerball Simulator

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