A three-year-old girl has led to one of the UK’s largest companies changing the way it brands one of its products. Sainsbury’s is renaming its tiger bread after young Lily Robinson wrote to the company saying, “Why is tiger bread called tiger bread? It should be called giraffe bread.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking this letter might not be a customer service priority for a huge business but Chris King from the supermarket’s customer service team wrote back saying “I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?”
As a further gesture, he also sent Lily a £3 gift voucher.
Lily’s mother uploaded the letters to her blog and it wasn’t long before the story went viral. Then this week the company announced; “In response to overwhelming customer feedback that our tiger bread has more resemblance to a giraffe, from today we will be changing our tiger bread to giraffe bread and seeing how that goes”. So, it might have taken them since May last year to act on the suggestion – but three-year-old Lily did get Sainsbury’s to change its branding.
Sainsbury’s said that Chris King had now left the company and returned to university, aiming to become a primary-school teacher. I’m sure he will do well, and he’d certainly find another customer-service job should he want one.
Lily Robinson was unavailable for comment – but hopefully she’s enjoying her new giraffe bread.
What lessons can we take from what’s been some great media coverage for Sainsbury’s?
1. Trust your customer-service staff
Allow them some freedom in their role.
2. Monitor and listen to the chatter about your brand
It could help you think about how to innovate.
3. Remember that it’s very easy for any customer communication to go public
And that this can be either positive or negative.
Will Edwards is managing director of media training consultancy Bluewood Training
Giraffe Bread image courtesy of ScalyTail on Wikipedia