Washington Federal, you may have invested in the right “here”. Does all this stuff matter to a potential client? Look at this picture. Washington Federal went all out. They delivered coffee cups, tape measure, a mini canister of breath mints, flashlight key-chain, coffee, candy, pens, letter opener and even a jar opener. Yes, a jar opener. Those flat rubberized things that you place over a lid and loosen. How many pickle jars have you struggled with? That rubber thing can help. Is all this stuff really necessary?
I sat in my retail store working. My “executive office” for all the work and projects I run is nestled in the middle of my life long hobby of a retail store. People coming and going all day long. On this particular day two representatives from Washington Federal Bank walked in carrying a lovely gift bag and extending their services. They did not give me a fancy sales pitch. They did not intrude in my space in a way that makes you cringe. Two very friendly people just stopping in to introduce themselves and say hello. Handing me all this swag and letting me know there was an outlined document of services in the bag with all the goodies. After the bag was handed to me, we just gabbed like old friends about this and that. I never did look into the bag until a few hours later.
Being of the brand and marketing nature I was curious of what weighted down this bag. As I pulled out each little usable piece of swag I just sat and smiled. This company, before ever doing business with them, has paid attention to caring. Caring is sharing, right? Sharing a host of little practical and usable products. Think about how important this act of kindness is. The message communicated is practical, thoughtful, and an element of fun. Not exactly words we would use with a banking experience. What if we defined the companies we do business with, based on first impressions? Does this stuff even matter? It sure made a great first impression with me.
It had me googling the bank and looking into their services. I would love to move my business to a kind, practical and caring company. Isn’t that what we all want. Of course the numbers have to align and the fit has to be worked out, but here is the real deal. They get a chance to show me that. Why? Because the gave me a bag full of green plastic branded junk? No, not junk at all. Anyone who opens multiple pieces of mail daily knows the value of the slider mail opener. That flashlight key chain is going the glove box of the new car I just bought days earlier. Breath mints, tucked behind my sales counter. You never know when you need to pop one of those. The tape measure is brilliant. Being a furniture store we are measuring daily for our customers. (If you are reading Washington Federal I may need to snag a few more of those tape measures.) The bottom line is that Washington Federal is doing this right. They took the time to get the attention of potential business. They went out of their way. They had me do some sober estimating of the banking experience I have with my current bank. I can guarantee a phone call or mailer would not have done that.
The success of growing companies is building business that consumers can trust. Starting with that first experience. There is much talk of that “customer experience.” Something that is getting harder and harder as people’s time and space is fragile. What are you doing to get the attention of your potential customer? What message of care are you communicating? I can guarantee that this experience was not just about a bank seeking new business. This is about a bank understanding that first impressions do matter. Care and practicality are just the first steps in how they are building their business. Believe me, it got me thinking about the business’ I run and making a few changes. Anyone need a pickle jar opened?
Thank you for reading! Elizabeth Traub
P.S If you are needing branding materials for your company. I have the pleasure of knowing the owner of PromoRx. Vicki MacFadden, the owner will walk you through a host of products that will wow your customers. Click the image below to look in on all the products and services that are offered.