Living in New Orleans taught me great lessons about marketing.

The one lesson that I have carried with me for over 30 years is the concept of lagniappe.

The “Louisiana French “ term means  “something for nothing, to give more.–An unexpected gift or benefit.”  Cajuns know a thing or two about marketing.

Marketers developed a spin on lagniappe and called it Value Added.  We saw Value Menus and Extra Value Meals.  Does it mean that prior to Value Strategy products had less value?

Today, more than ever, with the on-going perception that “things are tough,” we must find ways to offer bonuses and added goodies.  Consumers want to win.  It’s the job of a marketer to send their customers home with a shopping bag full of wins.  We must make consumers feel as though they “won” the transaction.

A few thoughts to ponder on adding value:

  • Add something free to the transaction not related to the business. Adding a 13th donut to the purchased dozen is of less value than adding a free daisy.   The office worker who stops at the baker to buy a box of donuts will deliver the box at a meeting or in a break room.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a flower vase nearby?  Bakers…trade with a florist.   Florists need donuts.  Bakers need flowers.
  • Quality matters. I remember clients fighting with me about the quality of the free gift.  This is not the place to be thrifty.  If the product is cheap (rather than inexpensive) it can damage the transaction rather than improve it.  TRADE!
  • Keep it fresh. Change products at least monthly.  Regular customers may not see value in the same goodie for every purchase.  Keep changing alliances for repeat purchases.
  • Sometimes “Register to Win” can be positioned as value added. If the “win” is significant—there is nothing wrong with adding value to one “winner” each week.  Trade for a great item.  And the customer database will grow in depth.

This simple marketing strategy confounds the wise.  Don’t over think it.

Give your customers something to tweet about.  Add value.

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