CD Baby Gets It

I just placed my first order with CD Baby, an independent web site that sells CDs that come direct from musicians. I have followed them for quite a while, as they offer artists an outlet to sell CDs without a lot of trouble. They even offer digital distribution services to artists to sell their music on iTunes and other digital outlets. In fact, they function as an online record label for smaller artists who want to do things on their own terms.

Well, after my first purchase I received the following email:
Thanks for your order with CD Baby!

This is just a happy automated email to let you know a real person
will email you as soon as your package is sent, and you will also
receive a paper receipt with your order in the mail.

Please save this email in case you have any questions about your
order.

** NOTE: if any of the info below looks wrong, please hit REPLY now
to let us know!

THANK YOU!!

CD Baby, the cutest little record store on the web.

Nothing about this email prepared me for the next email to come:

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Wednesday, June 27th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all
exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sigh…


Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby
the little store with the best new independent music
http://cdbaby.com cdbaby@cdbaby.com (503)595-3000

This email made me smile. They understand the importance of the customer experience enough to poke fun at its importance. Very cool. Not to mention that my CD shipped in one business day after my order.

Zombie Brands

There’s a recent piece in Slate.com about marketers’ penchant to resurrect old and dead brands like a horde of zombies:

Last October, few tears were shed when Ford ended production of the Taurus. The unlovely, workhorse sedan had been the company’s best-selling unit for much of the 1990s, mostly because of huge sales to rental-car companies. Shutting down production was a sign that Ford, in the midst of a serious restructuring, was looking to the future. But then in February, Ford announced that it would resume producing a car with the Taurus nameplate in the summer of 2007. continue reading

There has even been a follow-up, a return of the zombie brands article.

Does Anyone Really Fall for This?

For as long as I can remember, Thomas’s English Muffins have touted their “nooks and crannies” as a unique product feature. If you have ever tried store brand English muffins, you know that this really is a product differentiator.

These days we buy the whole wheat variety of Thomas’s Engish Muffins, which are part of the “Hearty Grains” line. The most recent package says “New Look! Same Great Taste.” The additional copy below it reads: “Heartier Nooks & Healthier Crannies.”