Finally, Costco has built a warehouse within 15 minutes of my house. As a committed Costco customer, this indeed is good news.
As a result of a new Costco in the neighborhood, a few weeks ago, there were Costco representatives going from business to business in our area attempting to increase their membership – particularly to this new store.
Fortunately, two of the Costco representatives stopped by our office complex trying to persuade business people to join. Unbeknownst to them, my wife and I have been Costco members for about 7 years. In spite of the fact that, prior to this store, the nearest stores were were 12 and 20 miles away respectively.
They were also happy to hear that I love their signature brand, Kirkland. They were glad to hear my perspective on how much value customers can receive from the Kirkland brand.
They were happy to hear that I’m aware Exclusive Membership holders receive 2% back on purchases and another 1% back if you use your AMEX card.
They were happy to hear that I think Costco is not necessarily about the cheapest price but is all about value.
They were happy to hear that I often tell others about the Costco brand. Prospective customers receive positive word-of-mouth by Costco diehards.
They were happy to hear that I know that Jim Sinegal is currently the CEO of Costco.
They were happy to hear that I know Costco doesn’t have a marketing department. And they don’t do any traditional advertising.
They were happy to hear that I really appreciate Costco’s liberal return policy even though I’ve never used it in 7 years.
They were happy to hear that I thought Costco had one of the strongest brands around.
Needless to say, why would Costco ever need advertising when they have believers like me?
Prior to dropping in, these two Costco representatives had no idea they would run into someone like me. Someone with discriminating tastes who often sings the praise of Costco.
How should Costco handle someone like me who generally signs the praises of this specialty wholesaler? Should they treat me differently than a prospective customer? Is it ever a competitive advantage to have positive things said about your company as opposed to negative press? Can the positive ever trump negative press? What do you think?