08 February 2013

Seamless is winning the storm so far.

Our offices closed early this afternoon, in anticipation of the worsening snow storm that's slowly approached the northeast since the morning. As I headed to the subway, I got my first anticipatory brand email:

Food delivery anticipating the storm, Exhibit A

A few hours later, I got another:

Food delivery anticipating the storm, Exhibit B

The difference between how these two, competing brands addressed the situation via email struck me immediately. One uses the forecast to acknowledge that volume will go up in the next couple of days, and uses the channel to give advice on how the experience can be as frictionless as possible - for both the customers and the businesses. The other uses the forecast as just another opportunity to push its service (nothing wrong with marketing your product! But getting these 2 emails in a row made me do a double take).

There's a behavioral pattern in cities to order food in when the weather gets bad - for many New Yorkers, it's almost muscle memory at this point. Both emails acknowledge this tendency on some level, but the magic for me came with Seamless's, which went a step beyond the obvious and into how to optimize the experience that we already know we're going to have. And it was delivered in a warm, helpful and positive way, too. Points!

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