Act in the customer’s interests to build trust and reputation

When I first wrote about this subject three years ago it was because marketing expert Don Peppers had been talking about it at an international marketing conference (what he says attracts a lot of attention). You may have easily got the impression this was some kind of new insight but in fact the idea goes back to well before 1950.

One of my favourite classic films is Miracle on 34th Street, made in 1947. The central character is ‘Kris Kringle’ (Richard Attenborough), who is hired by New York’s Macy’s department store to play the role of Santa Claus in its toy department. Ignoring instructions to steer parents to buy from Macy’s, Kris directs one shopper to a rival store. She is so impressed, she tells the store’s toy department head that she will become a loyal customer. Kris later informs another mother that arch rival Gimbels has better ice skates.

Have a look at this 60 second video clip to see what happens next. Then have a think about how you might apply the lessons to your own business. You can watch the whole film on Youtube here

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