Reblogged from http://napkinculture.com.
By Mike Reid
So, it’s been widely publicised that on Monday night Coles Online mistakingly priced two premium lines of beer, Coopers Sparkling Ale and James Squire Golden Ale at $14.99 and $15.99 per case, respectively. 4000 cases later (and potentially 4000 new online customers), Coles Online have become aware of the computer glitch and since reneged on their side of the bargain.
As entrepreneurs, we see a lightbulb FLASH where others see disaster, catastrophe, chaos. Yeah we like to think differently, but more than anything, we love to solve a problem with an ‘out of the box’ solution. Seeing the power of social media unfold with this situation, we couldn’t help but cringe at the way Coles not only handled the problem, but completely missed an opportunity to spread a positive vibe about their brand and their online sales platform. This is how we as thinking-outside-the-box-with-flashing-lightbulbs kinda guys would have responded to Monday nights so-called “catastrophe”:
- Wrap each case of beer in Coles branded Christmas paper and give 4000 Australians the most memorable – and talked about – Christmas present they’ve received in their lifetime.
- Replace the “prices are down” advertisement from this weeks ad runs with the “Christmas never tasted so good at Coles” campaign.
- Invite all 4000 beer recipients to be in their next above-mentioned advertisement – significantly reducing labour costs associated with their ad production.
- Negotiated with James Squire and Coopers to produce special packaging saying “Eat your heart out Gen X – This beer is courtesy of Gen Y.
- Thrown a massive party for all 4000 customers, supplying beer, entertainment and venue – all with $40,000 in change.
- Run a competition with their newly acquired, tech-savvy customers to re-develop their website in return for significant exposure to a captivated and highly targeted audience involved in the campaign.
Ok these ideas may seem a bit crazy. But the point is, a mistake like this can be used to truly engage your consumer base, reinforce or recreate brand values and more importantly than ever – reinforce to your customer that honesty is the true driver of customer loyalty in business.