The 'thank you' economy

I was having a small dinner at the Kou Xuan Pin Spicy Stinky Tofu restaurant - a restaurant like every other in Taipei night market. At least for a foreigner, they all look the same.

Nothing remarkable, except for one thing - a small seemingly insignificant gesture that no one especially most of the restaurant or shop owners, would think that it’s important.

As I was moving my plate to bring it closer to me, the waiter - on the way to bring food for the other able - helped me with my plate. A gesture that literally may have taken a maximum of 1.5 seconds.

Now imagine, this little thing would’ve not happened. Everything would’ve been the same. I would have still thought of the restaurant people as friendly and everything, but I would’ve not written this article.

What happens next? Google indexes my article, and maybe someone someday will search for Kou Xuan Pin restaurant and by some magic lands on my blog. Probably not, but what if somebody does? What if someone else has or will write something on their Facebook page or blog or Tripadvisor something similar?

This is the best kind of marketing. It’s so cheap, but it may have massive benefits.

The opposite is also true.

If the customer leaves with a bad taste in his mouth by e.g., unfairly not getting a refund - because “our policy is...” or because “according to ...” and “as stated ...” or some similar corporate talk, it may only take one person armed with a smartphone to cause a company lose millions. We’ve all heard stories of an unsatisfied customer making a post on Facebook that goes viral.

Obviously, this doesn’t just apply to businesses. We can make caring about other people as a part of our own brand.

By caring about people, helping them but not asking anything in return, it will pay massive dividends. Sooner or later.

This is what also what Gary Vaynerchuk writes in his book The Thank You Economy. Even though it’s written years ago, it’s still very relevant. It’s a timeless piece and the principles laid out there, will not change any time soon.

There’s so much to talk about this book, and I won’t be able to cover it all here. I highly recommend reading it as there’s a lot of wisdom in it.