Last Christmas, I was hired for a retail promotion at one of the local malls. They were giving away 100 $10 Westcor gift cards to the first 100 people in line, then they had 25 more $10 gift cards wrapped up in 50 gift boxes and three people got to dive in and start unwrapping presents and claim as many of the 25 cards as they each could find and then finally, the names of everybody participating went into a bucket and they had a drawing for a $1000 gift card. It was a lovely event and I made a few observations.
I was situated across from "Coach"- the couture handbag company. The assistant manager flew out of their door inside of 5 minutes to complain about the music. I had to refer them to the landlord of the mall- who had hired me and placed me in front of their door... We turned the speakers a different direction but they gave me the stink-eye for the entire time I was there. I'll come back to that in a minute...
At the top of the escalator from me, there was a Godiva Chocolatier kiosk and they dispatched an employee down to the crowd with a nice basket full of chocolate for everybody in line and a little promotional brochure and a Godiva coupon. They gave me a piece of chocolate too and I thanked them and said over the sound system how delicious it was and I pointed out the kiosk at the top of the escalator- a "shout out" of sorts.
Back to Coach- I got another ration of crap from the 30ish store manager who was completely overdone with fake boobs, fake nails, fake spray on tan, fake lips etc. She was cartoon-ish in fact. I pointed out that she had 200 Christmas shoppers in front of her store and she was bitching at me instead of taking advantage of the promotion and inviting them into her store! I again referred her to the mall management who, incidentally, had actually asked me to turn it up. Here's the funny part. She was like an audience member on Jerry Springer- she was waving her pointer finger back and forth with a ridiculous fake nail on it and bobbing her head back and forth and telling me that nobody who is standing in line for a $10 gift card could possibly be a customer at Coach.
OK. Another story to finish my point on this one. I was providing music for finals week at Paul Mitchell School recently. It's a good freebie because I get to make a nice school day for about 120 young 20-something women who will be getting married in the next few years and who do you think they will hire? I've already booked several events off of a few ours of fun on a couple of Saturday mornings when everybody comes down for their free hair cuts with the students.
We were having some fun and one woman came running over with a towel around her neck and a bunch of foils in her hair and she said that I was doing a great job and that she was having a party soon and hadn't even considered having a DJ but that because she was having so much fun, she wanted to hire me. Had I done what the Coach lady did, (think to myself that nobody getting a free haircut can afford my professional fee) I would have missed out on a $1500 off-peak event plus a $200 gratuity! Turns out she lives in the wealthiest ZIP code in Arizona and the party was loaded with wealthy socialites. Her daughter is a student at Paul Mitchell School and she was being a good mom and letting the daughter work on her hair.
For marketing, you never know where the million dollar customer may be hiding. They may have been in that line at the mall. Maybe they were just killing time, enjoying the music, doing some people watching, partaking in the element of chance, maybe it was exciting for their 7-yr old to get a gift card, who knows? I'm sure there were some potential Coach customers among them. I would never shop there anyways, because I don't care one way or the other about expensive hand bags, but now I wouldn't shop there because they employ an idiot!
I went up to the Godiva Chocolatier after the event was over and said hello. They whipped up a chocolate shake for me and thanked me for the shout out. They said that 37 of those $10 gift cards marched straight upstairs and got spent at Godiva and the average purchase was $41! It was cool that the employee at Godiva was given the autonomy and the trust to make a decision of that nature. Nearly $1600 in sales in 1 hour (plus whatever regular sales they had in that time) for a $20 investment in some small chocolates and a chocolate shake for the DJ.