the thirty-nine dollar update.He's getting some responses. Some of them are even "no's."
[Update:] As Mack points out in the comments, the responses would be a lot different if companies knew about the blogging, and I agree. In actual fact though, it shouldn't matter.
These companies are being handed a golden opportunity to do something extraordinary for someone who (at least on the surface) appears to be a loyal fan of their product. Customers are expensive. We spend loads of money trying to get our messages in front of prospective customers, in the hopes of connecting with just a few. When we're lucky, some of those customers become evangelists, and then they start telling ten friends; or fifty.
Any marketer worth their weight in salt should know by now that the "secret" to creating a great brand is in making the product remarkable. As Seth pointed out in his talk to Google, there is only one criteria: That it is worth making a remark about.
I'm completely baffled as to why a company would spend the time to write a letter, lick a stamp and make up some yarn about how they don't have a mailing list or whatever and can't send free product to someone with (seemingly) a legitimate request. I realize that if they did, it would set a dangerous precedent, but it's a risk vs. reward situation. This guy didn't complain about their products, he stated matter-of-factly that he is a huge fan. Risk: One jar of pasta sauce. Possible reward: A customer that makes a habit of telling ALL of their friends (evangelizing) about your great product.
I guess I think it's a no-brainer. Send the guy some swag, regardless of who's watching. It's a much better way of making your product or company remarkable.
Also: he got his first response from a company rep that found him online. The company: Eden foods.