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Asking for a Favor Leads to Loyal Following

When Mike Frattallone wanted to introduce a new type of popcorn to his stores, he turned to the very people who would be purchasing the popcorn to help him decide. Frattallone, former owner of Frattallone’s Hardware & Garden and now senior vice president at Central Network Retail Group (CNRG), reached out to the operation’s loyalty club members with a favor. 

“We sent out an email to our loyalty program members telling them we wanted to possibly bring in a new type of popcorn,” Frattallone says. “We offered a free bag to the first 40 customers who came into the store to take one home and try it.”

The customers who came in to try the popcorn were asked to share their feedback on the popcorn and what other flavors they would like to see in the store.

“I received hundreds of emails back with actual, real feedback,” Frattallone says. “I think when you ask a customer to do a favor for you—like offer feedback on a product—you’re creating a new dynamic and making a personal connection.”

That popcorn outreach campaign was so successful, Frattallone says they are coming up with ways to do it again with other products. He also hopes to sweeten the deal by surprising anyone who provides input with a coupon or discount loaded directly into their loyalty account.

“It’s a completely different type of marketing, but one that we want to do more of to build those relationships and create more loyal customers,” Frattallone says.

Discover other ways to improve customer loyalty through technology here.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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