Meryl Streep did a very small thing recently - that had really big consequences which I suspect will just go on and on and on...downunder at least (a bit like the music of Benny and Bjorn).
It has been Dancing Queen mania across parts of Australia over the past few weeks as Mamma Mia the movie has opened with full on red carpet premieres in Melbourne and Sydney.
Australia is still far enough away and relatively small enough that we tend to get a little starry eyed when stars come to town. (Can you imagine any other country who would have a bit player from an overseas TV series as the featured special guest of our own annual entertainment/TV award night, year after year, instead of celebrating a local talent?).
So there has been a buzz in town that the magnificent Meryl and the cute Colin (Firth) have actually attended our very own cinema screening.
But the buzz built to a small roar when it was reported the next morning that Meryl did not just skip down the red carpet...She stayed and watched the movie! Just like one of us! Just like a real person! In the cheap seats. Isn't that cool?
From the point of view of branding and promotion, that small thing told us heaps about the brand of Meryl: That she was one of us, didn't mind being part of the gang, didn't have to have any special treatment, and that she really liked the movie - enough to watch it again. That she does things that other movie stars don't do.
And we were tickled pink because it wasn't expected.
That small unexpected act spoke volumes.
Imagine how inconsequential if it had been announced before hand that Meryl would be staying to watch the movie?
So, what has all of this got to do with marketing your business?
When was the last time that you made yourself totally accessible and 'as one' with your customer base - and gave them a nice little surprise?
Not a pre-advertised gift with purchase, or the stated intent to fulfill their expectations. But something real, authentic, sincere, valuable - and unexpected.
Can you look for opportunities to give your customers a little unexpected pleasure - something that demonstrates stronger than any slogan, marketing campaign, advertisement - that you are one of them because you understand their needs? A small gesture that generates a 'knowing me, knowing you' moment?
Surely this could help your business bring in some money, money, money?
When was the last time a supplier surprised you....In a good way?