Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

One of the best marketing lessons I’ve had in a long time happened to me in Brookings, South Dakota. We were passing through and decided to stop for a bite to eat. We had dinner at The Ram Restaurant on Main Street in Brookings, population 19,470.  For the past 40 years it has more or less been THE place to eat, and the place was busy on the Friday night we were there.

ram-nickelYou might expect the owner to be the one person who could coast a bit, right?  Two things you should know.  First, The Ram has the only billboard in Brookings; maybe the only billboard in forty miles.  And second, when the waitress brings us our wine she also drops off two wooden nickels without explanation. “Collect five tokens and receive your sixth glass of wine on us” was printed on each one.

I asked the waitress why the tokens. She shrugged and simply said “We want to sell more wine.”  Wow, how obvious, how true.

Don’t forget you have to incent the behavior you want to see. Even when you’re the best game in town, and practically the only game in town.

If The Ram is still hustling in a small town, so can we.