Happy Father’s Day

Volume 13 Letter 5

Here’s the reality for most businesses large or small:

  • 10% of your customers drive 30% of your business
  • 20% of your customers drive 50% of your business
  • 50% of your customer drive 80% of your business
  • The last 50% of your customers account for 20% of your business (and likely 90% of your headaches)

Finding and serving that 20% of loyal customers is mission critical. In a world where products are becoming increasingly commoditized it’s important to remember loyal customers only stay loyal if your product is differentiated from the competition in a way that is meaningful to them. Differentiation can take different forms; look what London based drinks giant Diageo did in Brazil to differentiate their product.

Father’s day in Brazil is celebrated in August and last year for Whiskey lovers it came with a bit of a twist. The owners of Jonnie Walker and other premium Whiskeys assigned an individual QR (or scan) code to each Whiskey bottle. When the purchaser scanned the bottle with his / her smart phone it allowed them to record a personalized message to their father complete with a picture of themselves. Then when Dad received the gift using his smart phone he could scan the same individualized QR code on the bottle and view the greeting. (To watch the video see link below)

Retailers have been using gimmicks and giveaways since…well…. forever to entice consumers to purchase but the QR Scanning program comes with an important wrinkle. The company is now able to capture data about its customers. For sure the videos strengthened social bonds, promoted the brand and increased sales but more importantly they created a link between Diageo and their consumer. Diageo, now can go back to the same customer (both father and son or daughter) later in the year and remind them to stock up at Christmas, or about tastings and other events they are sponsoring. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly over time they can also go back to that same community to understand new emerging social trends. The data and ensuing foresight into future market trends can guide business strategy touching every part of the business from sales and marketing to supply chain and IT.

What can we learn from Diageo’s experience?

  1. Bring your top customers unique value: Recording a personal father’s day message was brilliant! It gave adult children a unique way of connecting their fathers. What unique way can you add value to your product or service?
  2. Turn physical products into communication tools: Diageo turned Whiskey bottles into communication vehicles. Are there services can you design into your product? For example adding a QR code on a tool that brings up a service manual or users guide.
  3. Collect the data – learn more about your customers: Diageo is collecting data from the QR codes to build a relationship with their customer. What are you doing to better understand the needs of your top 20% customers?

At any point in time Diageo has between 2.5 to 3 million bottles of Whiskey sitting in stores around the world. Each bottle is now a potential data point and opportunity to connect with loyal customers and to discover new ones. Find ways to connect with your most valued customers and serve them better. Happy Father Day!

To watch the Father’s Day Video click here.

For more info see: www.adage.com/article/global-news/diageo-personalizes-whiskeys-videos-gift-givers/238015

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