I have met some pretty amazing people because of this here blog and one of the folks I am very lucky to have met and consider a friend is Andy Nulman. For those not familiar with Andy, he writes a brilliant blog on Surprise Marketing and is one of the most interesting folks I know.
I met Andy for lunch a while back and we were talking about the concept of “free” and he said something interesting…and I am paraphrasing here so notice there are no quotes….no matter what product or service you market you should consider finding your best customer and give them your product for free because that person will bring in the equivalent or more new business by telling everyone about the experience.
This conversation stuck and was rolling around in my head a handful of weeks ago when I experienced this first hand….and just like Andy said, I am now telling all of you about it.
So I have this friend in NYC who is always doing nice things for me and I wanted to show my appreciation by doing something cool and very “Saulish” in return, so I took this friend to the Nike Town store to design a custom pair of shoes because I love custom shoes and part of my role on this earth is to infect my likes and dislikes on as many people as I can….and because this is a super cool “thank you” present.
This was my first time in the NikeID studio and the process of the whole thing was pretty amazing but the real SURPRISE came when it was time to pay for the shoes. Ya see I had no real idea how much it was going to cost for the customization and just assumed it would be twice the price of the shoe or something close to that but in reality my fully customized shoe (I got a pair as well) was only $10 more than buying a the same pair of shoes in standard colors and materials. I asked the guy there why they don’t charge more since people would definitely pay top dollar for custom shoes and he said that they don’t advertise the price and let people find out on their own because that is all part of the experience…and he went on to say that the NikeID studio is supposed to be for everyone and not just people who really love sneakers and by keeping the price in check it will never be exclusionary.
I gush quite a bit about Nike on this blog and sometimes I am shameless about it but this experience was a surprise and something worth sharing….and while this doesn’t fit 100% into Andy’s theory of free, I think for $10 it is close enough.
…and if you were wondering, here are my shoes