Anthropologie mailer shows retailer’s capacity to surprise and delight

Most people love birthdays — the anticipation, the excitement, the gifts. But me? I’ve never really been into them, even as a child. However, after two of my creative directors received this birthday mailing from Anthropologie recently, I suddenly wished it were my birthday so that I could receive such a fantastic and memorable gift. So … what’s the big deal about this piece?

First, there’s the anticipation. Nestled in a mound of oversized promotional postcards and self-mailers, not to mention bills and other solicitations, this unassuming little piece just stood out. Not only was its petite size inviting, so was the fact that I could tell there was something special inside. It just begged to be opened — after all, it was from Anthropologie.

Then, there’s the excitement. Maybe I’m a bit jaded after being in the DM biz for so many years, but even I was surprised at my own giddiness as I opened this piece. Out came something completely unexpected — what appeared to be a handmade fabric pouch with a cute button closure and a simple teaser message: the word “So ….”

And, the gifts. I realized there was even more fun stuff inside. As I unbuttoned the pouch, I discovered a sewing kit, complete with colorful threads and even more buttons. Tucked inside was a celebratory gift from the folks at Anthropologie — recognizing my creative directors’ birthdays with a special April-only offer.

I spent a few moments taking all of this in. After my initial surprise and delight, one of my first thoughts was, “Wow — how did they ever produce this?” immediately followed by, “I wonder what their budget was?” Opportunities to produce a non-standard piece like this are few, and I was thrilled to see such a unique, clever and unexpected piece of DM.

So … now you know what the big deal is. Anthropologie got it right. It knows who its customers are, what they like, and it delivered. This is CRM at its finest. Recognize your customers. Show appreciation. Invest in and deepen the relationship — ultimately building long-term brand loyalty.

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