In “Rework” Jason Fried describes how the 37Signals team approaches their marketing – by teaching them about their business and how to use their products. It isn’t necessarily a new process, but they take it to a whole new level and clear demonstrate how important “teaching” can be.
But how does teaching benefit a store? As Jason puts it in this video, customers actually end up trusting and caring about your more because you took the time to share something with them that no one else has.
Apple gets this better than any other software company out there today. Want proof? Walk into any Apple store or read this post. The Apple store offers all kinds of free classes on how to use their computers and software. Don’t have time for a full class? Check out the many articles and classes that teach you how professionals are using their products to do something special.
REI is another great company that does this very well. Their associates often teach classes to the public free of charge (some of the classes charge a fee). If they don’t have an expert inside their building, they partner up with someone who is and finds a way to share relevant information about topics their customers care about.
Think about how this might look in your retail location or on your website. What if the next time you walked into your local grocery store and instead of being greeted by the lady who is running around with a tray of undercooked and stale pizza bits you discovered that the store was offering cooking lessons taught by a real chef or expert (butchers fire up your grills) in a nice kitchen with comfortable seating? Would you care more? Would you go back?