Chick-fil-A does marketing right.

Thanks to a heads up from CouponKatie, we were treated to a sneak preview of Chik-Fil-A’s new spicy chicken sandwich for lunch yesterday, a week before they plan to make it available on the menu. Ok, that’s great. But they did a great job of marketing this new product. So despite being delicious (it was), they’ve also created a buzz:

  • The restaurant had special tables set up (with place settings) for those who had made “reservations” to try the new sandwich. There was also a hostess to take you to your seat and bring you your food. We heard at least two other parties ask our hostess what it was all about–a perfect opportunity for her to tell them all about the new spicy chicken sandwich and that it was not available yet. Manufactured scarcity and creation of a group/tribe!
  • Every time an order for a spicy chicken sandwich was ready, someone behind the counter would shout, “Spicy chicken sandwich for (whoever)!” There’s no telling how many people stood in line between the hours of 11:00 and 14:00 yesterday who wished they could also order a spicy chicken sandwich, if only they were special enough.
  • Our sandwiches were “upgraded for free” with cheddar jack cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. I’m sure all of these will not come on the stock sandwich once it’s on the menu, but after you’ve had a “deluxe”, are you really willing to go back? Remember, Elaine had never sat in first class before, but Jerry had. He couldn’t go back to coach, but she could.

So props to Chik-fil-A for creating a good product–it really was good. But what a great marketing job. I hope more companies become savvy to these type tactics. It’s in their best interest, and people with reservations love that kind of treatment. They sometimes even write complimentary blog posts about these experiences–more free marketing!