Creating love affairs: You can’t buy their love

This is a guest post from Drew McLellan, CEO and Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group. See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

In our ongoing pursuit of creating love affairs with your customers, I wanted to share an experience.

Beep Free Belt noteIf you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am:

  • A frequent traveler
  • A wee bit impatient
  • All about efficiency

So it shouldn’t surprise you that I have my travel routine down to a science. I can pack for any trip in less than 10 minutes.

I own a TSA approved messenger bag so I don’t have to take my laptop out when I got through security. I always wear slip on shoes. And I just ordered TSA approved belts so I can scoot through the scanner without having to de and re-belt.

When the belts from arrived, I was pretty pumped to open the package. This was the final tweak to my travel ensemble. (I know… I can’t help it. Don’t judge me!) But when I dug past the packaging, I found more than the belts.

There was also a handwritten post-it note thanking me for my order and saying that they’d included a couple extra belt buckles so I’d have some variety to choose from. (See the photo above.)

On a simple post-it note. Nothing pre-printed, nothing fancy. Just a note from Jim.

It probably cost him two minutes to jot the note. But I felt the love. Why?

It was unexpected: This was my first order from the company so I had no real expectations. I hadn’t spent a huge amount of money and they don’t have a super sexy website, product, etc., so I wasn’t expecting creativity and a personal touch.

It was personal: If it had been a pre-printed card, it probably wouldn’t have been as memorable or noteworthy. He addressed the note to me, not “dear customer” or “sir.” Whether it’s true or not, I felt like Jim really did want me to have those extra buckles. He really cared that I could mix and match my buckles.

Another example of this is

They sell memory chips. Tough to imagine anything that is more of a commodity than that. But, with every order, they include a couple suckers. Yes, lollipops. Think it is silly? Check out all the mentions and links people are posting. Do you really think customers would be writing about the company they buy memory chips from, if it weren’t for the suckers?

Many people believe that creating a lasting love affair with your customers is going to be incredibly expensive.

It doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can’t buy their love. If you try too hard or it feels like you are throwing money at it, rather than throwing your heart into it, it will backfire.

Instead of them feeling your love, they’ll feel a little cheap, like you think they can be bought. But let Jim’s post-it note remind us all that it’s the heart that counts, not the cost.

About Drew McLellan

Wall Street Journal calls Drew McLellan’s blog,, "one of the ten blogs every entrepreneur should read." His passion is helping clients discover their story so they can create authentic love affairs with their customers. He's also an author, national speaker, and has owned his own marketing agency in the Midwest since 1995.

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