Have you ever heard the saying, "You catch more bees with honey"?
Well there's more to it than just a catchy phrase.
Beside the fact that kindness is an endearing quality of a wizened soul, it is and has been an effective marketing strategy since time began.
We often think of kindness as an altruistic quality, and in business an invitation for disaster or a weakness, yet in a service industry such as massage, interpersonal skills become paramount. Personal service businesses survive on relationship skills, making kindness (not weakness) an essential and helpful marketing tool.
Personally I've always viewed kindness as a strength, and a way to say both wonderful and challenging things with sensitivity so that the message can be heard. As it turns out it is a part of my brand, but I never knew it until some feedback lead me to an article on trends.
It turns out that Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) have found the way to the marketplace via customer competencies, and a growing need for realness from 21st century consumers. Armed with technology consumers can research price, insta-print coupons, and generate the location of the best deal at warp speed. So the 10% off discount is no longer a call to glory, and businesses need a deeper arsenal of tools and skills to stand out in the crowd.
With curiosity as my guide, I looked into this in the form of trend watching and here's what I discovered.
Kindness, generosity and spontaneity are three of the top eleven trends for 2011! In addition, random acts of kindness is listed as the number one trend according to trendwatching.com.
Think about how a customer would feel if their next massage is spontaneously "On the House"! Or perhaps comes with a surprise gift of massage cream, a favorite CD, or a box of chocolates in a beautifully wrapped box with a card expressing gratitude for their business.
Lots of massage businesses already do this . . . and it's kind of like the chocolate on your pillow at a high end hotel. Yet adding a unique or special component that singles out the customer, creates a generosity of spirit, a spontaneous action "out of the blue" so to speak, leaves a lasting impression and when strategically placed, (at the end of a challenging day, during a divorce or end of a relationship, a wedding or birth), your business just may be remembered forever by an even more loyal, more satisfied customer.
Social networking is providing innumerable opportunities to tune into customers mood and lifestyle to facilitate this process. Suppose you read on a text, twitter or Facebook comment that one of your customers has just lost their job. How perceptive and memorable would it be to send off a quick card with a half-hour free stress reducing massage to help them through tough times.
Massage businesses that find ways to attend to and implement generous, spontaneous and random acts of kindness will win customer loyalty, create word of mouth buzz and magnetise the market, and also stand out amongst the crowd of competitors.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of low cost, high return, random acts of kindness is the way you'll feel when you realize what a difference you can make in the life of another. Just another way for your massage business to create value in a stressed out world.
Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world's leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.