Exactly a week ago, my kids got an unexpected treat at Pump It Up in Elmhurst.

As it happened, last Monday was their 8th birthday, and the trip was a last-minute addition in an already-crowded day of activity for my wife. As she filled out the admission form for the duo, she mentioned that she was not suffering from a brain cramp by writing out Aug. 8 as both the date and the children’s birthday.

A few hours later, after jumping and scrambling and having an energy-expending great time, the kids were showered with Goodie Bags containing an assortment of cool gifts. Whatever dollars the business invested in recognizing them in this simple, impromptu way, it will receive back many times over in return visits and word-of-mouth stories about the thoughtful gesture.

The Human Side of Things

That’s the business side of it. The plain-old human side of things: it’s just a really cool thing to do.

When I heard about the positive experience, my first thought was The Thank You Economy, a no-nonsense, common-sense urging from Gary Vaynerchuk in which he lays out a solid argument, and case studies, that underscore the merit of this kind of business behavior.

I’ve found that often you don’t have to go an extra mile to get most folks’ attention (and capture their appreciation). All the ground you need to cover is, oh, maybe 100 feet. For those scoring at home, that’s not even 2 percent of a mile–though more than enough to get a lot of marketing mileage from the effort.

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