A few days ago I spotted a bunch of keys in the street near where I live, and stopped to pick them up. As I did so I thought of the logistical nightmare losing my own keys would cause, and the cost of replacing them, and the bother of it all, and how I’d be truly annoyed with myself that I had lost them in the first place, etc.
The keyring had a tag with a URL to a website called Keyfetch. Excellent, I thought, someone’s going to be relieved to get them back, I’m sure. The Keyfetch website invited me to pop in my email address before opening an anonymous chat box, so that I could exchange messages with the keys’ owner and arrange for them to be returned.
The next day the ‘owner’ of the keys replied:
Thank you for returning this set of keys. Keyfetch, which is a new lost property retrieval service, is conducting a national study on how honest Britons are. By attempting to reunite these keys with their rightful owner, you’ve helped gather statistics which reinforce the belief that we live in a socially responsible society. To thank you, we’d like to gift you a one-year Keyfetch membership.
On doing a quick Google search, as one does, I discovered that Keyfetch launched in January and has been ‘planting’ sets of keys across Britain. A really clever marketing promotion strategy I think, because it does three things:
1. Seeding the product to start the conversation
A well-known tactic used in word of mouth marketing (WOM) is to give people early access to your product. This works particularly well if you are launching something innovative, exclusive or something which has been hyped up already. It can set tongues wagging, especially if you combine a strong campaign with a strong brand message:
Keyfetch, which is a new lost property retrieval service, is conducting a national study on how honest Britons are.
A lovely connection is being made between the name and purpose of the service and doing the right thing, which is of course what will make this service work. A very strong brand message, and it works – I’m blogging about it, and your reading it, right? ’nuff said.
2. Strategic product placement
How do you place your product to make it visible in the market, when that product is a service? Provide a sample.
Yep – I’ve seen the product in action, it was literally strategically placed for me to notice it, and the idea worked. Coming across this product in its natural habitat of abandonment strengthened the message that this is a product I might want myself: in the space of thirty seconds I went through the emotion of surprise at finding the keys, empathy with the owner of the keys who’d lost them, to curiosity about how the system works and contentment that I was doing something helpful for someone else.
3. A freebie
It isn’t just that we like a freebie, but we also might need to build up our confidence about the product itself before we buy. In this case ‘trying out’ the product was certainly interesting, the offer of a free year’s membership could well remove any last reservations I might cling on to.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing the results of that national study. If I was in their marketing department, I’d be getting excited too – the data of the study is going to be great brainstorming material to build on the current marketing promotion strategy, for starters. I just have one little niggle: I’ll have inadvertently invalidated the data when I took the bait. You see, I am not a Briton…