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Give them an experience they’ll never stop talking about — and a reminder to re-start the talk

IMG_0258The Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, TX invites school and scout groups to spend the night camping in the zoo. It’s an amazing behind-the-scenes experience. More that just the camping, which is remarkable, you also get to feed a giraffe, pet a rhino, and hold a giant cockroach.

Just as important: Every kid gets a free shirt with the Zoo Snooze logo on it. And everyone other kid in school finds out about the Zoo every time the shirt is worn. (And because it was a Cub Scout trip, dozens of kids in the same grade all have the shirt.)

Lesson: Don’t just think about the experience. Think about the word of mouth experience afterward. Giving away a $5 shirt may be all it takes to turn customers into evangelists.

Lesson 2: It’s a shame how few businesses understand that souvenirs are critical word of mouth tools and not just a way to milk your customers for extra cash on the way out.

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