Backstage Pass

I love smart, funny commercials.  They are the highlight of the superbowl each year, and can make me pause from fast forwarding my DVR (Digital Video Recording) when watching an episode of "How I Met Your Mother."  I especially like the unexpectedly funny ones like this commercial.

Hilarious, isn't it?  I think it's the Scottish accent that really gets me.  I randomly came across this particular commercial while reading a post on Seth's blog about making commercials for the web.  Now, it's an informative and insightful post, but that's not what caught my attention.

Seth's link sent me to YouTube to view the commercial and after it had played-and I had stopped laughing-I saw a "related" video about the making of the commercial so I watched it too.  I also watched some amateur parody videos based on the commercial as well.  I ended up spending an unexpected ten minutes with Castrol-the company that made the ad-and its new catch-phrase.

The point I'm trying to make is that Castrol spent a lot of money to tell me about a specific product for thirty seconds, and did a very good job at that.  But it was the cheap, behind-the-scenes footage that let me see more than just their message and got me to stick around for a lot longer.

This got me thinking.  We all love a concert with its lights and effects, but it's so much more cool if you get to go backstage… however dark and dingy it is.  If customers enjoy your products, could you build stronger connections with them if you brought them into your business and its culture?

Repeat business is vital.  Brand loyalty is important.  Word of mouth is the fuel for both.  For all three, what makes them possible is allowing customers become a part of something-your company-by gaining access-buying your products.

What are some good ideas for creating relationships with customers?  How have you let them "backstage"?  Leave a comment and tells us about it.