Ok, so here’s the situation:
I was hungry and if Twitter is good for nothing else it’s good for letting the world know about your food consumption needs.
Now, I didn’t get to see Tony Hsieh when he spoke at the Reno PRSA back in January, and i haven’t read his book “Delivering Happiness: A path to profits, passion, and purpose,” but i am aware of their general strategy. I honestly expected that to get a laugh or two and be on my way.
A twitter friend of mine, @karlfun reminded me of @Zappos’ prepensity for pie buying:
So I upped the ante (x2) by tweeting the address of Reno Collective, the Reno, Nevada coworking space where I work.
A few minutes later…
A few minutes later. Without warning, this arrives:
Gary Vaynerchuck is a genuinely awesome dude. If you’re not familiar with him, check out his wine podcast, The Daily Grape. He’s also a social media marketing personality, whom I’ve seen present several times. His general philosophy is to take the ethos of personal, communal and friendly relationships and apply it to the business world.
The key takeaway from his presentation at SXSWi this year was basically that since we like to do business with people we know, like, and trust, providing context of communal relationships to your customer service practices will boost affinity for your brand.
My favorite quote from that talk is this:
“The reason people love their parents is because they loved you first. Brands should consider the metaphor and give to their customers before asking things from them.” Complete audio of Gary’s Keynote
So we had some pizza, shared a few laughs among the 10 or 12 people in the collective today and got back to work. Then i got this:
Since the only thing better than a free pizza, is another free pizza, we had some more pizza…
I have to admit that I’ve never purchased anything from Zappos. Their online shopping experience doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t like to browse, I know what size I want before I order, and I either buy them in person or order them for the dirt cheapest price i can find. But their product has a wide appeal for what it is and what it offers.
One of the major things Zappos offers is first class customer service. From what I hear, there are never issues when you make a purchase with them. Period. That, in a world of lowest bid wins, is refreshing. Apparently consumers understand the intangible value of experience. But as they are quick to point out, Zappos isn’t in the shoe business:
What just happened here?
So I’m confused. What the people behind this awesome episode didn’t know, is that i don’t drink or purchase wine, and I don’t generally buy shoes online (Reno has a Sierra Trading Post…). So, strictly speaking, this isn’t customer service. Gary Vee is a funny guy who would probably do this on a lark, plus i’ve had some exchanges with him on Twitter in the past, so i’m not that surprised that he sent us a pie, but why did Zappos send a pizza?
It’s not hard to see that they benefit from it, everyone here was stoked on Zappos, and there has been a pretty good buzz around it in our little community. So the $18 it cost to get Dominos to send us a pepperoni pizza probably pays out in the end in earned media.
What are your thoughts on the Great Reno Pizza Race of 2011?
- Why did they do it?
- Did they run my Klout? (not that that would impress anyone)
- How many more times can they do this?
- They must have put some thought into this. If not, will if backfire on them? What is their long-term strategy?
- Have you had any experience like this with brands? What do you think?
Thanks Gary and Zappos! You’ve won over all of us here at Reno Collective!