Strategy & Marketing

Triggers That Make Ideas Stick

I flew to Columbus, Ohio last week and tried out the new Skybus Airlines. It’s a new airline based in Columbus and one of their destinations is Los Angeles (Burbank), so I thought I’d try it out. On Skybus, the ticket is cheap, but you pay for everything else – to check bags, get in the priority seating group, drinks, snacks – even water and coffee. It’s no frills taken to the max. But they offer a lot of stuff you can buy, and hand out a magazine that’s essentially a big menu of food and other products they sell throughout the flight. I noticed that
they handed out the menu-magazines after we boarded the plane, and then picked them all up right before landing. On my return trip, I asked the flight attendant why they went to so much trouble when it would be much easier and more efficient to just leave the magazines in the seat pocket.

She replied that it’s a “trigger.” By handing them out at the start of each leg, chances are much greater that people will actually look through it and buy something. She said they sell considerably more because of the technique, since after handing it to someone, they almost always flip through it before putting it in the seat pocket.

Brilliant idea. Most business people would think it better to just leave them in the seat pocket, so the flight attendant can focus on other things. But from a sales point of view, the extra work becomes more than worth it.

What are the potential triggers you can use to draw more attention to your product or service? There are plenty of discussions on the web regarding sales and marketing triggers, but I’ve found Make to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die to be an excellent resource.

What are some other “triggers” that would be especially useful in a religious or non-profit setting?

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