This past February 29th I got married. It’s funny, we kept it simple, and even in the time of Facebook and instant gratification most of my friends STILL don’t know that Sara and I got married. Even though I post pictures almost every day like the ones I’m going to be talking about today. The ones involving a watch, and some wrapping paper.
My wife Sara’s birthday was in August and it was her first birthday we’d be celebrating as a married couple, so of course I had to get it right! Thankfully, she made it easy on me one trip to the Shops at La Cantera when she pointed out a watch that she really liked inside a Kay Jewelers store. Rather than play it cool (Me? Never!) I bought it on the spot so she wouldn’t have to wait (and I wouldn’t have to keep the secret).
Now, don’t get ahead of me. It was still a birthday present! It had to be wrapped! Maybe not as well known as the Tiffany’s Blue Bag, but Kay Jewelers has roll upon roll of fabulous golden wrapping paper. It reminded me of a video that ran during the cartoon Animaniacs as a kid in the 90’s, called “A Gift of Gold” (see above for the video).
We had been joking with the staff at Kay Jewelers that I was doing my husbandly due diligence by getting her the perfect gift, I was hamming it up and making a good scene (as usual). The staff challenged that it was my gift, I should have to wrap it. I grinned, knowing they didn’t know what they’d gotten themselves into.
I asked for a pair of scissors, and their paper, a pen and a bow. I got to work, doing my best to make it look extremely difficult, tongue sticking out the side of my face like my eight year old trying to beat me at Mario Kart.
I wasn’t wrapping a present, I was putting on a show.
See, we often forget that when we’re doing anything, that the experience is ALWAYS more important than the object of our attention. Sara was laughing, the staff at Kay Jewelers was laughing, we took pictures, and in the end we didn’t have a watch in a box, we had new memories, and the laughs and photographs to prove it.
The same can be said for your business. You aren’t just selling a product for the sake of the product, or offering a service for the sake of the service. You’re connecting with people, you’re becoming part of their story. The same way the shoe salesman at Clark’s Shoes and I bonded over our mutual ADHD, and he delighted my wife of stories of things his wife had experienced. He didn’t just help me try on some shoes, he became a character in that day’s story.
You can do that too. I’ve always loved Seth Godin’s the Purple Cow because of his focus on the word “remarkable”. Remarkable isn’t just about being good, it’s about being REMARKABLE – worthy of remark. Sure, I was a customer of Kay Jewelers, but the staff there also created the atmosphere for which I could perform my little wrapping paper skit. They helped me create a memory for my wife in the same way the father in A Gift of Gold above created a memory for his daughter during their darkest time.
Would anyone ever cherish the packaging that came with your product? How can you make your customers experience memorable? If you become a character in their story, you’re that much more likely to become a reoccurring one.
Don’t just sell a product, join people on their journey, and they’ll help you on your own.