Innovation That Matters

Shoe-shopping perk for Virgin Atlantic's first-class fliers

Work & Lifestyle

Brand butler offerings can be an effective way to show potential customers that you care — see, for example, Toyota’s “glass of water” mobile app designed to help consumers reduce their emissions. However, when offered only to your best customers, such extras can allow a brand to express true appreciation. Visa undertook such a strategy when it sponsored luxury loos at a music event and reserved them exclusively for the use of its Signature cardholders. It’s also what Virgin Atlantic has recently done for its upper-class passengers through a partnership with The Left Shoe Company, a bespoke men’s footwear brand. Part of Finnish Left Shoe’s customer-focused service is a 360-degree 3D digital scanner that’s used to measure customers’ feet. Customers then choose the style, color, material and sole, and their shoes are made to order using those exact specifications, which are also retained for simplified ordering in the future. Now, upper-class Virgin Atlantic passengers visiting the airline’s Clubhouse lounge in London’s Heathrow airport can get a taste of Left Shoe’s service for themselves. In a month-long offering that runs through up to April, passengers can be measured and then browse and order the company’s shoes while waiting for the departure of their flight. In addition, they can choose not only to have their name inscribed in the sole of the shoes — an option on all Left Shoe Company footwear — but they can even request that their Virgin Atlantic flight number and destination be inscribed as well, creating a unique memento of the journey. Can there ever be too many ways to keep customers loyal? We don’t think so, either. What partnerships could your brand forge to help make your best customers feel pampered and special? (Related: Hotel perks for Mercedes driversZipcar perks: bicycle racks and passes to national parksAirline alliance offers free audiobook downloads at airports.)



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