I received 98 emails in my personal email box yesterday. A few were personal emails, “real” letters, but most were solicitations. A big batch were from political candidates…it is that time of year. Many were subscription emails that I have requested. About a dozen were coupons and advertisements from stores I actually go into from time to time. And the bulk of the emails were from stores and businesses I only deal with online.

Business and services are vying for attention from me from the minute I get my coffee and check my email until I turn off the TV late at night. It is not an easy job to be a marketer these days. What will actually stand out to the consumer?

One business has stood out to me this past week in a big way. It was the Subway sandwich store right by our downtown Austin office. I know they get a lot of business from our big building’s workers because it is the only fast food easily available. But, it is often just the minimum daily requirement of lunch. It isn’t where we WANT to go; it is where we go because we are hungry and short on time.

And that was me this week, so I walked to the Subway. Two workers in the store greeted me as if I were a regular favorite customer. As I left, they told me to have a nice day and thanked me for my business. I feel sure this was a corporate mandate that required a greeting upon entering and upon leaving… but I don’t care. Just hearing a human voice welcoming me and then wishing me a good day counted for a lot. Days later, I’m still thinking about it and noticing how many other businesses are depending on mass marketing and a flood of coupons to attract me. It’s a lot easier to hit delete than it is to forget how pleasant two young men made me feel at a restaurant this week.

– Submitted by Janice Williams, Music Design