April Fools, Why Joke with your Customers?

april-fools-8Today is the first day of April, April Fools Day as it is traditionally called.  And more and more, most likely taking a page out of Google‘s book, companies are playing April Fool’s Jokes on their customers.  But why?  What is the point of playing a joke on people who trust you to deliver, or serve, or help them?  Why risk upsetting people?

Because a good story is fun, and something fun and different can spread.  Ideas that spread lead directly to success and, if you are a fan of Seth Godin, you know that is his rallying cry.  True word of mouth marketing exists when customers are so intrigued by your story or your beliefs that they tell their friends, they blog about it, they Tweet about it, etc.  When a lot of people do this in a short period of time, the impact is instant.

In many industries, a shift has occurred from the traditional relationships between business and customer to a new “friendly” relationship. Whereas before it was very important for companies to appear extremely conservative, respectable, and professional at all times, nowadays more companies are appealing to customers on a more personal and familiar level.  Having fun with customers is something that has developed from this “we’re a friend” methodology.

What better way to have fun with your customers than on a day when playing pranks is built right into the calendar.  I think its a very innovative way to create a buzz, and relate to your customers on a more personal level.

But here’s the catch…be creative.  Do something different and unique.  And make people appreciate the effort.  If you do something that takes no effort, and is not that creative, most people will just be annoyed.  The goal is, when a person realizes it’s an April Fool’s joke, they laugh and carry on with whatever business they have with you.

It’s already too late this year, but April Fool’s day is not the only time of year that you can have fun with your customers.  Contest and promotions built out of the same methodology can be a creative way to connect with the public.  But if April Fool’s day sounds like the sort of thing you or your company would like to work towards next year, you don’t have to wait to start the planning now.

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4 Responses to April Fools, Why Joke with your Customers?

  1. BR says:

    Funny you should mention this Zach. Earlier today I went onto Youtube, and at first all was good, but the first video I attempted to watch appeared upside down (the entire page, video, everything). I took a screenshot, posted it on facebook and shared it with a few friends.

    Also from word of mouth, the Streak on ESPN apparently had an April Fool’s matchup (though never saw it). Speaking of the Streak, how bout their new segment, 6 winners from now till december get a chance for a primetime event – “the streak-off” winner gets $1 million .. sounds like a moneymaker to me.

  2. Zach Heller says:

    BR, pretty good stuff. I also noticed the YouTube stuff this morning. More companies need to start thinking of creative, interesting ideas to get attention like that.

    I will check out the updates to the Streak asap.

  3. […] was just reading a post of Zach Heller’s entitled Why Joke with Your Customers.  It was an April Fool’s Day post – the classic day for jokesters but he brings up a good […]

  4. watch5 says:

    I love it,Excellent article.I am decide to put this into use one of these days.Thank you for sharing this.To Your Success!

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