Spend Money and We’ll Like You

That’s really what stores are saying isn’t it? They only like us when we give them money.

I received a mailer yesterday from Office Depot.


I spend a lot of money there, because it’s the big box office supply store that’s closest to my house. Honestly, I’d go somewhere else if they offered the same and were closer. They don’t really inspire much loyalty on my part other than geographical distance. This mailer is part of the reason why.

Here’s what they’re saying…

I’m a customer.

They appreciate me.

But only if I spend more money.

I know the business world revolves around the exchange of money, but it also has to do with relationships. In my opinion, they damaged one with this mailer.

Here’s how they could have done it better.

Do a special customer appreciation event. Define parameters and do some data mining. Look for customers like me who come in regularly and spend a fairly set amount of money. I (or my minions) buy supplies there for 6 different businesses from printers to paper. Make me want to come in more often and spend money on more than just the essentials. Your special event could be a new product reveal, an after hours thing, or just a coupon for a free coffee from the Keurig machines you sell.

At the special customer event, give me a coupon like the one shown above. I promise, I’m likely to spend more money if invited to something special, rather than simply an invitation to spend money, which is all that the mailer was.

More than anything else, Office Depot…make me feel unique. If I just want to be a number and buy office supplies cheap, I’ll just use my Amazon Prime account and order with free shipping from the office. With nothing special or unique to entice me, why should I hop in the car and drive over? If I don’t hop in the car and drive over, how will you impress me and upsell me with your other goodies?

You’ve got to do it better. I’ll be needing printer ink soon, and I may consider shopping around.


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