Many CEOs and marketers ask me this question:
"How do we create Brand Advocates?"
Here's the answer:
Surprise and delight your customers. Go beyond the expected. Create memorable, "WOM-worthy" experiences they'll tell others about. (Like I'm about to do now in this post.)
Hotel Mokara Creates Advocates
Hotel Mokara, a lovely hotel/spa on the San Antonio River Walk, knows how to create Advocates.
My wife Debbie and I stayed at the Mokara last week while I was in town to speak at an American Marketing Association (AMA) San Antonio luncheon.
Early one morning, Debbie went to the lobby to get some work done when she realized she didn't have her "readers" with her. So Debbie asked the front desk reception person if the hotel had a spare pair.
("Readers" are reading glasses that correct close-range vision and sell for about $10. I've bought about 63 pairs of readers in the last couple years. I have readers everywhere...in my car, in my desk at work, in my tennis bag, in the bathroom. I once had to buy a pair of readers to find the readers I misplaced.)
Doak Walker to Debbie's Rescue
Doak Walker, Hotel Mokara's manager, overheard the conversation between Debbie and the front desk receptionist. He gladly offered to go to the local CVS and buy Debbie the readers.
Mr. Walker returned about five minutes later with a new pair of readers in hand. (He even called the front desk while he was in the CVS to make sure he bought the right magnification.)
Amazingly, Mr. Walker refused Debbie's offer to pay him for the readers. "Oh no," said Mr. Walker, with a smile. "Absolutely not."
Mokara Means Mo-Caring
Many brands try creating Advocates by showering customers and other influencers with swag, gifts, points, and coupons.
There's really nothing wrong with treating your customers well. (Debbie and I really appreciated the complimentary champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries on our second and final night at Mokara.)
But it's remarkable service experiences and caring professionals like Doak Walker that earn genuine loyalty and advocacy.
Debbie can see that clearly, thanks to Doak Walker.
PS: Doak was named after Doak Walker, the famous Southern Methodist and Detroit Lions football player. There's an annual college football award called the "Doak Walker Award" that goes to the nation's top collegiate football running back. However, there's no family relation between Doak Walker the famous football player and Doak Walker, the hotel manager extraordinaire.