Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s not often you can swoop in and out of a grocery store for a few last-minute holiday purchases and find yourself on the receiving end of some excellent messaging in action.  Today’s trip to the local Giant food store was a terrific example of well-trained staff executing some perfectly crafted messages—some highly successful corporate communications.

  • “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”  When you answer, yes, you’re participating in a subtle cue that suggests everything you need was found in this one store.
  • “Do you have any recyclable bags you’d like to use?”  Even though the checker could see I probably didn’t bring them, I’ll be more likely to remember them next time.
  • “Would you like to donate $3.99 to purchase a pie that will be delivered to the shelter for Thanksgiving dinner?”  Yes.  “They will be so thankful.”  Rather than saying “grateful” and using the specific word “thankful” they are reminding us of the spirit of this holiday.
  • “Would you like any assistance with your purchases?”  The answer is almost always, “no,” but it’s a very nice service touch in general.
  • “Have a happy Thanksgiving!”  With this final message, these folks are creating an atmosphere of care and even more importantly, community, turning my shopping chore into a connection that made me feel part of something bigger. 

Thanks, Giant, for the excellent lesson—and the nice warm feeling besides.

— Jan Johnson