How to Win Customers and Influence Word of Mouth

41Mj-RkmrCL._SL500_AA300_When I met Stan Phelps for coffee a little over a year ago, I learned for the first time there was a term — lagniappe — that meant a small gift given to a customers by a merchant at the time of purchase.

It cannot be faked of forced, for it to work it must feel real.

Our conversation on the research work he was doing for his first book, What's Your Purple Goldfish? (Amazon affiliate link), reminded me of the local toy store growing up.

The owner always had a little something set aside for us. Can you imagine? Three little kids going in with their savings to get one toy to share, and him beaming with joy while giving us the little extra.

This book started as a post in 2009, which then became the Purple Goldfish Project and the Marketing Lagniappe blog. The project was an ambitious attempt to crowd-source 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe.

The book is now a reality so get your copy and find out how to win customers and influence word of mouth.

Fact: It costs ten times more to acquire a new customer than it takes to upsell a current one.

Marketing is changing. In fact, I'd say we're coming full circle to where we started — in service to customers.

In the first part of Purple Goldfish, Stan talks about the value of the gift economy, explains why both purple and goldfish, and shares stories that help drive home the gesture of lagniappe.

In Part II, we learn about the five ingredients or RULES of a Purple Goldfish through examples:

  • relevancy
  • unexpected
  • limited
  • expression
  • sticky

Part III details the 12 types of Purple Goldfish in the value (1-6) / maintenance (7-12) matrix.

  1. throw-in's for god measure (Zane's Cycles is in this group)
  2. thinking outside the bowl — taking care of details, keeping things fresh and limited, for example
  3. the lowest hanging fruit in marketing — sampling
  4. the power of primacy and recency — we often think of first impression, and rarely about our last or parting moment
  5. standing behind your product
  6. pay it forward
  7. thank you's / follow up's
  8. added service
  9. waiting
  10. convenience
  11. special needs
  12. handling mistakes

The book also addresses the role of technology in changing marketing.

According to Phelps, a lagniappe economy is where there is an exchange of goods and services for an exact value (market economy), plus a little unexpected extra that is given for good measure (gift economy).


We need to get back to actually making things. As I read story after story in the book, I suddenly realized they are all about doing something, instead of just talking about it.

There is more to it. It's about speaking clearly and being apPROpriate to the situation at hand,  in the present moment.


Don't miss the complimentary Webinar with Stan Phelps about the concept of lagniappe tomorrow at 1pm. Details here.