Sunday, July 31, 2016

4 Marketing lessons from the Amalfi coast

We recently returned from a big fancy trip to Italy which included a few days in Rome, and a week in a 600-year-old villa that was once inhabited by Napolean's sister (yeah, that Napoleon), and of course, several daily espressos. 

As we wandered the streets on our shopping days, I started piecing together what I thought would be a cool photo series I'd title "shopping in Sorrento." I know, real original. But I'd bet you're no Annie Leibowitz yourself, so cut the shade. I also started noticing some marketing techniques that the internet loves writing about like they were brand new, but you start to realize our take is just the latest flavor of methods as old as the Coliseum.

To get to the ancient Napolean villa (see above) from Rome, we stopped in Naples. This trip felt like a multi-stop, full-day voyage because, well, it was. So as wandered around like the helpless foreigners we were, a cab driver sniffed out our dispair and promised to get us where we were going for nearly $150. And, honestly, we almost bit the hook. He knew it. So even as we told him no and proceeded through the train station, he followed us nearly 50 yards to the metro map as we sought tickets on a cheaper mode of transportation. Yes, this was annoying to us, but he was close to making a pretty penny. And then we got on a hot, sweaty train where we had to stand for nearly an hour. But we still only spent around $8 to get to Sorrento. 

Using one of the six principles of influence, one Sorrento limoncello store banks heavily on the benefits of reciprocity. 

We entered the store as simple window shoppers. 10 samples of candy, cream-filled cookies, and 2 shots of limoncello later, we bought about $80 of their tasty goods. 

Capri is known for their linen. And they have beautiful linen. And beautiful women selling linen. And beautiful ways to make your buy linen, and more linen. I picked out a shirt and before I could decide whether I wanted it or not, our wonderful helper brought four more great looking shirts, a pair of linen pants, and a pair of linen shorts. Always on the hunt for an increased sales, these associates knew how to push the up sell. 

Creating a memorable experience
A big trend in customer service these days is focusing on customer experience. A buzz word in business has been practiced for decades by cab drivers on the coast. Francesco the cab driver started out by offering fair prices, which convinced our family to pick his cab, and when he offered an outgoing personality and acted somewhat like a tour guide, we kept coming back to him. As a bonus, he knew when something went wrong, he should fix it. When the AC went bad on a day trip along the coast, he left us at a stop and drove a van back to swap out for one with working AC. He continued to keep our business.  

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