There’s a kids’ clothing store in my local shopping centre that I’m waaaaay more likely to visit above their competition if I’m shopping with the kids in tow.
And it’s not because I particularly love their clothes. They’re not cheaper. The quality is no better than the rest.
So why do I go there?
When we enter that shop, the kids can crawl into a cute lil cubby space and watch a cartoon. Or they can sit and do some colouring sheets. Occasionally the staff hand out a gift on our way out. Oh, the sheer joy of a balloon on a stick!
The result? Happy, entertained kids. And a mum who can shop in peace.
It must cost the business to create and maintain this ongoing experience. But they’ve clearly clued-up to a simple truth: Giving is a boomerang. Fling out value, and it will wind right back to you.
The giving boomerang
Many successful businesses are now built on the model of giving to receive. Think of Canva or Spotify, to pick out just a couple. You use the free version. You find it makes your life better. So you upgrade to the paid version. Who knows, you might even tell your friends about it.
The more a business can go above and beyond for their customers, the more people will come back, spend, and spread the word.
And it’s not just a game for big businesses. Whether it’s a free poppadom, a free eBook, or a free consultation – by offering no-strings-attached value to the customer, the customer is more likely to reciprocate by spending money.
Great leaders are generous
Come to think of it, the same model is applied by great leaders. Tycoons and TV shows over the years may have painted a cut-throat picture of the business world: to get ahead, you have to trample on a lot of toes on the way up.
But in most cases, the opposite is true. Great leaders are visible. They prioritise giving their time freely because they understand the value this holds. They are generous with their expertise, their encouragement, and their thanks. In return, they get an engaged, loyal team willing to go the extra mile.
I’d love to hear, what do you give away for free to your customers, clients, or employees?