Several years ago I heard a radio ad for a men’s clothing store called Jos. A. Banks that was having a ‘buy one suit, get two free’ sale. I had just taken a job where I would need to wear a suit every day. It was perfect timing. I was skeptical, thinking it a marketing ploy. This sale was a classic example of a rational marketing message. They didn’t appeal to my emotions telling me how distinguished I would look or baiting me with the number of ladies I would score wearing their suits. They appealed directly to my pocket book.
I walked into Jos. A. Banks feeling rather sheepish. I thought for sure the employees would see me and think, “Oh great, another person only here because of the sale. When will this be over?” Instead, I found them very friendly. They took time to ask my suit wearing history and what my upcoming needs were. I told them I would be wearing suits five days a week and currently had none. One of the employees took me over to the rack and showed me suit and shirt options that could be mixed and matched to maximize my purchase so that three outfits could extend over five days. I was thrilled!
Unfortunately, it was just two months later when I bent over to pick up a piece of trash and a small piece of metal extruding from a window a/c unit ripped a strip of material on the upper part of my suit jacket sleeve. What horrible luck, I thought. The buy one, get two free sale was long gone and I had no idea if I could purchase jackets separately or not. Then the thought occurred to me that perhaps they have extra sleeves and could just sew on a new one, salvaging my bargain purchase.
I went back into Jos. A. Banks, this time feeling even more sheepish. Despite how crazy it sounded, I asked if there was a way they could replace just the arm. The employee looked skeptical, but said he would ask the tailor in the back room if my plea was possible. He took my coat, disappeared in the back, and shut the door. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how silly my request sounded. Five minutes later he returned. Only, instead of carrying bad news, he had a brand new suit in his hands. An entire suit! He hung it on the rack and smoothed it out as if preparing for me to take home.
“Do you have a dollar?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I mumbled, dumfounded.
“I’ll need it to put a transaction in the computer,” he said. Apparently every transaction had to be worth something.
It took me a moment to realize I was getting a completely new suit for merely one dollar, two whole months after my original purchase.
You see, like 99% of other businessmen wearing suits, I don’t really know the difference between the material, the cut or the stitching. I only know three things about suits: how they feel, how they fit and the experience I had that day with the customer service rep.
It was an emotional experience that has made me a Jos. A. Banks customer forever.