It happened around a decade ago but since brand control continues to shift away from brand owners to their customers, it is relevant even today! That time BBC, Huffpost, DailyMail, all ran the story. Why has this one struck a chord with me, you will know as you read because it will touch your heart as well.
I’m talking about Sainsbury’s customer interaction with 3 ½ year old Lily Robinson. Lily was confused by Sainsbury’s Tiger bread and felt its pattern resembled a giraffe’s and not a tiger’s.
She wrote to Sainsbury’s.
(I've attached a pic of the letter)
Chris King replied promptly from Sainsbury’s.
"I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea - it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn't it?"
King enclosed a £3 gift card for the store and signed the letter
"Chris King (age 27 & 1/3)”
Social media was just warming up then. Lily’s mom shared this on her blog and started a Facebook campaign- just to encourage her daughter. The ‘tiger bread letters’ post on Facebook was liked over 150K times and shared over 48K times.
All this while, Sainsbury’s was listening and engaging with the customer. Knowing the customer was certainly right in this instance, the Company spotted an unusual opportunity to do something fun. They changed the name of the bread and used this on signs around their stores giving a humorous nod to Lily’s original idea. Millions of Sainsbury’s customers got engaged in the process. Sainsbury’s hit the mark in showing its warm, down-to-earth, human side and now everyone felt it was a friendly and approachable brand. Jackpot!
Consumers want to trust brands and this random act of kindness made a strong imprint on people, and built a relationship with them- one that doesn’t come even after spending billions on ad campaigns!
Can we all learn something from this story?
Today, we have chatbots and all sorts of technology in the name of CRM. We collect tons of customer information- databases, behaviour patterns, demographics, repeat sales, and what not. More important is what we do with this information.
We all need many versions of Chris in our team. While Chris could have laughed the letter off, he escalated and appreciated Lily’s idea. He gave Sainsbury's a great story around the bread- of course it helps drive sales but the undertone remains that Sainsbury's is ‘listening.’ It is not a machine, its not a robot. It is a people’s company, and it cares. Customer service is about personal connections, and not bandwidth.
DhampurGreen loves to reach out to customers- much more than the 24-hour ground rule to respond. We love going that extra mile to know how you used the product, what you did with our jaggery, was the rusk crisp, did the gur masala chai taste like your grandma’s……we love to hear all those stories. While insisting that every customer responds to #dhampurgreen or the email on the website or google review or social media message or just a whatsapp, the subtext remains that Dhampurgreen is waiting for your stories, your personal stories with our people, our products, and our brand. We want to not only reach your dining tables and pantries, but also your hearts!
Chris King became an internet sensation with his own fan page.
Time to groom more Chris Kings in your team!
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