If you can get people involved in an experience with your product during the buying process, you'll go a long ways to cementing good feelings toward you. You'll also give your customer a reason to blab.
Chevrolet is now offering Corvette customers the opportunity to assist in the assembly of the very engine that will be put into their new ZR1 or Z06. The engine will get a custom plaque before it's shipped to final assembly in Bowling Green, KY.
Imagine if you will, how intolerable these Corvette owners will be in their insistence on telling you how they built their own engine. They'll want to show you the pictures. They'll offer to raise the hood to show you the plaque.
QUESTION: How can you offer a similar experience to your own customers? How can you involve them?
If Apple had charged $49 (or even $9.95) for iTunes instead of giving it away, would they have been able to achieve their non-violent takeover of the entire music industry? If they gave the software free, but then required you to buy entire albums, would they still have been the disruptive force?
The internet is full of success stories where a key component is provided free to customers and the company makes it's fortune providing the rest of the solution.
Give the customer all the tools required to use your service. Then, give them à la carte choice on how much to buy from you. Throw in a bunch of other cool features, and watch the fun begin.
Square is GIVING YOU a simple little device that plugs into your iPhone or iPad headset jack and you can start swiping credit cards. This is a no-brainer. They are DISRUPTING the model. They are attacking by taking some of the current profit centers out from under the current players. There are companies making a sweet fortune by selling machines, charging monthly fees, setup fees, etc. Take it all away from them and you have just created CHAOS in their world.
What can you do to disrupt the model in your world?
GPS maker TomTom has announced new voices for their products. You can have Darth Vader give you turn-by-turn directions on your GPS.
This is a great example of going over the top in creating something worth talking about. And, to go along with the announcement, they created a fun video of Darth Vader in the studio. If you don't have time to watch the entire thing, you should at least jump forward to the last 30 seconds for the inevitable ending. "Dum-dum-dum, dum-da-dum, dum-da-dum…"
What are you doing to make your business worth talking about?