Start Up Blog

Give us a taste

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 8, 2011

I was recently flying with Emirates and got talking to the cabin crew. When I later asked for a cappuccino they gave me a nice little extra effort. See below:

For the uninitiated, that is the Emirates tail logo as the chocolate on my coffee. I was impressed so much I didn’t want to put sugar in and mess it all up. She did mention that it was normally reserved for 1st Class passengers, but they thought I might appreciate it in business class. They gave me a taste of for next level.

My question to entrepreneurs is this: How are you giving your customers a taste of the top tier?

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Good service? Prove it

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 3, 2011

Yesterday I went to a well known cafe in Melbourne for breakfast. Yes, it had a amazing the decor of a restored warehouse and exotic free range egg combinations, but that wasn’t what impressed me. It was the way they served their ‘non-customers’.

By the time we where half way through our second java a line had started to build for people waiting for a table, which is pretty rare in a cafe centric city like Melbourne. Up until that time the thriving restaurant still had amazingly quick service. But the service I was most impressed with was the service they gave those who weren’t even customers. People waiting patiently outside were treated to complimentary cafe lattes and flat whites. I’m sure they were surprised and delighted at the good will gesture. The tone of the staff there also told me that they gave them coffee because they were genuinely sorry they couldn’t seat them immediately. They meant it, and it wasn’t a promotional ploy. Something we’d never see from a chains store or large corporate. They’d be more concerned with wooing ‘non-customers’ that rewarding their ‘sure bets’. I say they’ve got it back to front.

The reality of the complimentary coffee is that it sent out a good vibe, and cost very little to do. And the benefits? Well I’m already blogging about it and put it on my twitter stream which goes to many thousands. I’d also say that rewarding those you’ve already got, is a far better investment than investing in those who’ve never helped your business. Something all startups should take note of.

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Pro Bono marketing

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 15, 2010

This is the first of my crowd sourced blog entry ideas as suggested by Christopher Hewitt. Chris wanted to know whether providing services Pro Bono was a good idea for startups.

In a word Yes.

More important than the answer are the reasons. It says something about us as people or an organisation. It starts the brand personification process.

It says we give before we expect.

It says we have confidence in our knowledge and our skills.

It says we trust you not to take advantage of us.

It says we are prepared to a resource before we expect you to become one.

In all it creates an environment where reciprocity is likely. Reciprocity is part of the human condition. In addition, it’s the best way of providing a sample, when providing a small bottle of shampoo or a taste test isn’t possible.

Startup Blog says: Pro Bono is rad.

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Dubai Series: Hotel Sampling

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 29, 2009

Once you pass through the customs area in the Dubai International Airport they have a very interesting area reserved for Hotels as can be seen below.

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The area has all of the 5 star hotels from the city represented. The general idea is that each hotel has a mini foyer with the exact styling and ambiance of the actual hotel. The mini foyer has Video footage of the hotel, details on menus and hotel services, samples of the haute couture fragrances in room and some even have masseurs for weary travelers to encourage / reward bookings. Concierge salespeople are there to explain the benefits and convert the sale. For those already booked they have a comfortable waiting location where they serve refreshments until the hotel driver arrives.

A simple idea, but one which makes sense for such a burgeoning metropolis and shows that even the oldest industries can innovate too.

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