Two for Tuesday: By Popular Demand
“The customer is always right.” For anybody who has worked in a customer service job of any type, that is probably the most infuriating motto in the English language. By and large, though, it’s also true. Keeping customers happy is key to protecting a brand’s image and ensuring customer loyalty, so while it may make your local Starbucks barista grind her teeth every time that one customer insists they ordered a soy latte (when in reality, we all know you ordered Coconut Milk, Steve), companies are still going to live and die by that turn of phrase. As such, for today’s Two for Tuesday, here are two companies that have been in the news recently for honoring their promises to customers.
McDonalds All-Day Breakfast
In the greatest news since McDonald’s took a third piece of sliced bread, covered it in Thousand Island…I mean “Special” sauce, placed it between two buns and called their creation the “Big Mac,” McDonald’s once more captured the hearts and minds of millions by debuting its highly-anticipated All-Day Breakfast Menu today. And they’ve been running ads all day declaring “Power to the People.”
AdWeek has a complete rundown of all the support that’s been thrown behind the menu launch, but suffice it to say that McDonald’s has rolled out the full court press. That’s the beauty of listening to customers and giving them what they want: they’ve already built the momentum, all companies have to do is open up the floodgates. The moment is a global event. There’s a certain level of authenticity to the overwhelming nature of it all, too. Sure, a Good Morning America segment is a bit over-the-top, but the friends who have been Snapchatting me pictures of their Egg McMuffin at 4:00 in the afternoon or posting on Facebook celebrating today aren’t some part of marketing agenda. They’re just really, really happy.
Chipotle and the Return of Carnitas
Last week, Chipotle had a menu announcement of its own, declaring that the Carnitas shortage of 2015 was nearing an end, with pork available in 90% of stores, and an expectation that the fan-favorite protein would return to all stores by next month. In contrast to McDonald’s, Chipotle banked on addition by subtraction when they eliminated a pork supplier for violating the fast food chain’s supplier standards. Chipotle makes a promise to its customers, guaranteeing “Food with Integrity”. Since putting that mission to the test, results have been mixed, with slowed traffic (and thereby profits), as announced by an executive in April. Still, overall the response has been positive according to CEO Steve Ells, who declared that the chain has “heard from thousands of our customers who have expressed support for [Chipotle’s] decision.” By committing to its standards, Chipotle has probably ensured the loyalty of those customers who are socially conscious, especially the hyper-important millennial generation, who respond with increased trust, loyalty, and likelihood to buy when confronted with socially-conscious companies.
Companies responding to consumer demand key in on a specific attribute: authenticity. In a world where more and more voices tell consumers what to buy and what to skip, they no longer want to be sold to—they want to be heard, and they want to be respected. When companies give their customers a voice, or honor a promise they have made to their customers, those audiences ultimately connect on a deeper level with the brand.