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The Grateful Dead, TD Bank and Your Company

Posted on 05/12/14
Growing up in a suburb of Manhattan, I've seen an incredible number of talented musicians and bands. Over the years, it's been amazing to see some make big and others of equal or greater talent fail to become well-known. In fact, the world's greatest funk band, Milo Z still plays at the Red Lion on Bleeker Street in NYC, where they've been "bumping" for over 20 years. If you have a chance to see them, you should.

But, whereas many great bands don't make it big, others do incredibly well for a variety of reasons. The Grateful Dead did it by marketing themselves better than others. As a fan (a "deadhead") who has maintained objectivity, I'll tell you that their talent was not what sustained the band's popularity for decades. The single most impressive thing they did is something that other bands could have done, but elected otherwise. The Grateful Dead allowed fans to tape their music at concerts. Tapers

At a time when other bands considered this to be a legal violation, the Grateful Dead encouraged it. Whether they knew it or not, they were empowering their fans to become brand ambassadors. Tapers made duplicates and gave those tapes to friends. Their friends made copies and gave them to their friends. Next thing you know, the Grateful Dead had fans everywhere.
They gave a gift that engendered loyalty and grew their brand.

Generosity is a powerful tool that's woefully underutilized by businesses hungry for success. The Grateful Dead used a unique form of promotional product when they allowed concert taping. Conventional promotional products are potent and underutilized as well. If there's a secret to their power − it's the element of surprise. Think about it. If you give flowers on Mother's Day or an anniversary, it's appreciated but expected. If you give that same bouquet on a Tuesday, it packs a bigger punch.

TDBankPenTD Bank gives out pens like crazy! They've even built a marketing campaign around it, poking fun of banks that chain their pens to desks so that they don't stray. In doing so, they're telling customers, "Other banks don't want you taking from them, we're happy to give." What an ingenious way to differentiate a brand.

Now, everyone knows that they can take a TDBank pen, so what do they do? They also offer lollipops, dog bones, hand sanitizer - it's like they can't do enough for their customers (or their customers' children and pets). They're also open on Saturdays and Sundays, in case people have an easier time visiting their bank on days when they don't work. They're turning banking upside down! Guess what their customers think about banking there? Yep, it's downright great. umbrella-promo

How about your brand? Perhaps there's a statement to make about how hard you work for customer satisfaction? There are so many ways to connect with people and let them know that you care − about their health, their comfort and their happiness. This is why we love what we do at Farfromboring. Every day we help clients use travelmugs, umbrellas, magnets and beach balls to engage in a meaningful way.

We're fortunate enough to be in a position to help businesses like yours reap success. If the Grateful Dead and TD Bank can do it, so can you!

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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