Occasionally I’ll comment on how the same company in Britain markets a specific product in the UK and not here and vice versa. It doesn’t make sense to me, especially if the product has a huge consumer base. Take Nesquik for example. They market powdered milkshake mix in strawberry, 2 chocolate varieties and vanilla. In the UK, they also have banana flavour. In their defense, Nesquik was marketing the ready-made pint-sized banana milk in the refrigerated section, but it disappeared never to return. My happiness was short-lived.
My Mum used to have this bottled banana syrup concentrate on-hand in the summer and would make my brother and me homemade ice lollies. They were so good, and I think this is the basis for my affinity with banana flavoured things. (I’ll never forgive McDonald’s for discontinuing their banana milkshake…)
So with all that in mind, Bryan informed me last week, “oh and by the way, I e-mailed Associated Foods and pretended I was you. I told them how I had been looking for banana milkshake powder for years and that I grew up in Scotland drinking it and hadn’t been able to find any since moving to the States. Don’t worry, I was nice. I said I was excited to have found it and really laid it on thick.”
I thought nothing of it til yesterday when Bryan came in the door, Ian on-toe, both of them grasping boxes. One was an early birthday gift for Bryan, and I couldn’t make out who the other sender was.
“You can thank me now!” Bryan exclaimed.
Inside the box was a short letter.
“Thank you for taking the time to communicate your compliment on Banana Magic Milk Mix. It is through contact with consumers that we learn which areas of our operations are doing well and which need to improve.” It then goes on to say, “…enclosed are samples of Banana Magic Milk Mix for you to enjoy at your convenience.”
I couldn’t believe it. I have been a believer that if I’m enjoying a product or service, I should let the company know and have done so on a few occasions, not looking for anything in return. Well, at least not initially. The one time I don’t do anything, we get free samples. So I’m thinking, I may even bring myself to forgive her for addressing me as ‘Mr. Wilson’ – a woman obviously not too versed in the diversity of Irish names, and female ones at that.