Aveda loves its Customers! All about their awesome birthday freebie.

Lately, I feel like I've been talking about the fact that I work in marketing a lot (sorry, I hope it's not getting annoying). But I say it because I think it predisposes me to be a bit more critical of companies. I don't just care about the actual products that they sell, but I care about the WAY they sell them and how they treat their customers. Ultimately, no retail company would be able to exist if we, the customers, never bought their stuff. Yet so many companies take us for granted and act greedily, or just don't treat us like they have our best interests at heart.

Not the case with one of my favorite skin care, hair care and body care companies, Aveda! I've been shopping at Aveda for years, as I feel like their brand really fits me -- I'm not a crazy tree hugger, but I have a true appreciation for the power of plants and natural, earth-based beauty products. Although their products aren't 100% safe/non-toxic, they are all formulated without parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfate, which for many people are the "big three" to avoid, and for the most part when I review the ingredient labels, I don't see a ton of stuff that I find particularly startling.

Now, aside from my love for Aveda, I should also mention that July is my birthday month, and there's nothing I love more than beauty products and celebrating my birthday, than celebrity my birthday with FREE beauty products. A lot of companies have started instituting various loyalty and retention programs that reward you with something special on your birthday, but boy oh boy do those rewards vary. At DSW, I got a $5 off coupon. At Sephora, as I'm sure you're all familiar with, I got a Make Up for Ever sample with a mini lipstick and mascara (probably worth a similar $5). Stuff like this is nice, and I certainly enjoy receiving anything at all, but in the scheme of things it doesn't move the needle a whole lot in terms of increasing my spend with the company or making me love them more as a brand.

Aveda, on the other hand, has got it right. I got a coupon in the mail saying that if I came into the store I would get to enjoy their Pure-Fume experience where they give you a free beauty product made with a custom blended aroma of your choice. Now, I was expecting to walk in, get to sniff a few scents and walk out with a travel sized perfume sample, but that wasn't the case at all. The woman helping me sat down and showed me a chart of aromatherapy oils, then explained the essence of the scent and what emotion each was supposed to help with (i.e. calmness, energy, comfort, etc.). In between sniffing each, she asked me to sniff some coffee beans to neutralize the scent (how fancy) until we found the "one" that really spoke to me. When we found my scent, she asked if I wanted it mixed into a body lotion, shower gel or perfume, and I asked for a body lotion.

From there she disappeared behind the counter and returned to hand me a giant, 6.7 fl oz bottle of hydrating body lotion mixed with my scent. I was floored! I never expected to receive a full-size product! I stopped to ask the woman if this was right, and if I was being given the birthday gift meant for VIP customers or something, but she just smiled and said she hoped I enjoyed the lotion. I thanked the woman, left and immediately visited the Aveda web site where I saw that their 6.7 oz body lotions typically cost $27!  

Normally, companies really do reserve these super special, expectation-exceeding moments for their very best customers, of which I don't think I fit, as I spend roughly $50-$100 a year at the store, at most. But this showed me that they really do appreciate me as a customer and appreciate the business I bring into the store, regardless of the amount. And really and truly, it's elevated how I feel about the brand, and may very well make me think a little harder about other products from their line that I'd like to try.

If you want to learn more about Aveda, you can visit their Web site, and if you too want to get an awesome birthday freebie like I did, simply sign up for their emails and they'll send you a coupon in your birthday month. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Are there other companies that do a really great job at showing they appreciate you? Let me know in the comments below, even if they are outside the beauty industry!


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