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Back to the Basics


Do you remember when a business would offer free coffee and cookies for a day? It was a simple, inexpensive concept but it worked. Businesses still do this when there is a grand opening or business anniversary, but many businesses used to do this once a quarter or even once a month as a way of showing customer appreciation.

What about free promotional gifts for each customer? This is another almost forgotten marketing technique. A business would give a free item to each purchasing customer. The giveaway may have been a calendar a cup or a cap, they weren't expensive gifts but they generally displayed the company name and logo.

These techniques have not disappeared altogether; there are modern variations. For example, the free coffee and cookie idea has been modified by some in a rather unique way. A business owner works out an agreement with the owner of a popular coffee shop. The business owner invites all of his or her customers and from 8:30 to 9:30 on Wednesday morning the business owner pays for coffee for everyone that stops by the coffee shop, whether they are an existing customer or not. The business owner spends the hour at the coffee shop greeting customers and meeting new ones.

Many businesses mail a promotional calendar or gift to their customers as a Christmas or holiday gift. People appreciate the attention and the free gift. Auto service departments sometimes offer loaner vehicles when a repair may take longer than expected. The method isn't important, it truly is the thought that counts.

Promotional items have become more expensive, but they are still a great way to market your business. Your logo and business name are visible to all who see the promotional item, so the benefits of repetitive advertising are delivered each time a customer uses the gift.

Apply modern variations to each of these "Customer Appreciation" techniques and get back to the basics. Like the Beatles, customer appreciation never goes out of style.

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