SXSWi – 3 winners who understood ‘Perks’

In 2014, most startups and well-known brands are irritatingly ‘push’ marketing, trying to force product down your gut at every opportunity. Whether their marketing medium is a social media cocktail party or face-to-face interaction, brands aren’t recognizing it’s a noisy world out there. Recently, we got back from SXSW Interactive and were stunned and intrigued at the sheer quantity of promos, SWAG, freebies and perks on offer. Some were brilliant, most were ‘same same.’ Below, I’ll cover my 3 big wins of SXSWi,  highlighting brands who went above and beyond, companies that truly embrace the concept of ‘thank you’ and amplified a message of “I truly give a damn about customers, supporters and future advocates.”


Chevrolet – Catch a Chevvy

A perk that really solves a problem is always a surefire winner. Chevrolet’s ‘Catch a Chevvy’ was genius. Anytime you hailed down a SXSW branded Chevrolet or tweeted in, they’d give you a free ride. It saved me being a good hour late for an important meeting. Getting a cab in Austin is so hit and miss. Well-done Chevrolet!


Mass Relevance – Social Suite.

This stunning sanctuary for startups, entrepreneurs and SXSWi attendees had a real feel good factor. Mass Relevance opened their doors to the tech community, and I know it paid off. How? Well, no fewer than 10 other entrepreneurs told me I ‘MUST’ visit the Mass Relevance Social Suite, as their staff are ‘ridiculously friendly’ and the food on offer delicious. The free massages were again, a sure fire winner!


Samsung – 100% battery uptime

My Co-Founder Stevan was thrilled with the folks from Samsung. Every time his battery would die, a friendly face from Samsung emerged to switch batteries and ensure he always had some juice. This perk was convenient, solved a pain point and executed to perfection.

To conclude, I passionately believe that brands that take risks show gratitude, and passionately embrace ‘the thank you economy’ (to coin Gary Vee) will win. Of course, all of the above is useless without an exceptional product! As the content we consume online increases exponentially, how do marketers win and be heard? Step back, care and go that extra mile to creatively say ‘thank you.’ Good job!