Every Day Is Special (Business Brilliance #1)

25 December 2017 | 14 Comments

On Friday, I went with some friends to get a burger from Hi Pointe Drive In (a small St. Louis restaurant). Before I left home, I checked their Facebook page to see if they had a special burger on the menu. Here’s what I found:

As I scrolled down the page, I realized that they didn’t just have a special for that day; rather, they have a special sandwich or burger EVERY day. And they’re not just slight variations on a burger. Each one is a memorably audacious combination of ingredients, like a shark po’boy with fried radish shoestrings and a bacon-wrapped chicken alfredo lasagna on provel-pesto garlic bread:

Each Facebook post was a hive of activity, with people sharing their awe and appetite and linking to friends who had to see what was happening. There were communities forming around sandwiches. And based on the crowds I’ve seen at Hi Pointe, these posts are translating into a successful business.

I didn’t order the Friday special (triple cheese triple bacon double patty on pretzel bun and jalapeño cheese sticks), but I saw several being delivered to tables. The servers treated them like a big deal, almost ceremoniously, as they presented them to customers. They were special.

All of these factors added up to me changing my Hi Pointe Drive In Facebook notification settings to “see first,” which means that they’ll appear at the top of my feed. I don’t want to miss out on seeing (and maybe eating) the next outlandish creation.

Hi Pointe Drive In treats every day like its special. In doing so, they give their customers a reason to pay attention and participate every day, even if it’s just to admire (or cringe) at that day’s sandwich.

What does this mean for Kickstarter creators? 

I love the idea of giving backers a compelling reason to check in on the project page every day. The reason doesn’t need to be the same every day: Sometimes it might be a new update. Other days it might be a new stretch goal, image, or review. And sometimes, frankly, backers might just want to check in to see how the project is funding.

Also, note that Hi Point Drive In’s specials aren’t exclusive. They’re careful not to say that they’re one-time creations that are exclusive to today and will never be seen again. Because they’re creating this massive menu of interesting sandwiches, and they know they can best serve their customers by featuring these specials again someday. That doesn’t make them any less special.

What does this mean for other companies?

Social media is the most powerful when it’s tied to other aspects of the business. Hi Pointe’s social media has these photos to post because the chef is making these burgers. I think this is a great reminder that social media isn’t an isolated job–it’s quite effective when your social media person can be part of the creative process.

What does this mean for tabletop game publishers?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. My current approach to Stonemaier Games’ Facebook page is to post links these blog entries (2 posts a week) and links to my game design YouTube channel (2 videos a week). Otherwise, my activity is fragmented among various game-specific Facebook groups.

Honestly, it’s tough to think of something burger-worthy of posting every day, especially if it’s consistently themed. Like, I could probably post a strategy tip for one of our games every day, but eventually I’d have to start to recycle them. I could post a crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, or game design tip every day…. I’ll have to think about this. Do you have any ideas?

What do you think? Have you seen other restaurants offer something truly special every day? How does that impact you as a customer?

This is a series that will feature innovative strategies from non-Kickstarter, non-tabletop game companies as they might apply to other businesses. If you have any recommendations, please send them to jamey@stonemaiergames.com.

14 Comments on “Every Day Is Special (Business Brilliance #1)

  1. As a person who has been contemplating launching his first Kickstarter campaign, this seems like a great idea. It could be simple as everyday releasing something special that you love about the game. A piece of artwork, a fun story about a play through, etc. Just keeping people engaged everyday with something compelling!

  2. I think for a new game release, or kickstarter, or other event to do an advent calendar type opening. Especially with boxes that open and people can find out what they missed on that day. Even shortening it to 10 or 15 items, but giving them the weightiness like you explained.

    For Hi Pointe though, I could see them running out of ideas quickly, are they doing it just this month, or is this just a common occurrence? do the burgers repeat?

    1. That’s a neat idea about an “advent calendar”-style reveal!

      As for Hi Pointe, I’m sure they repeat, though not on a set cycle. Based on what I’ve seen, they have a special sandwich every day, not just this month.

  3. I love that you force yourself to find blog topics everywhere. Nice post about passion and the concept of non-stop content generation. Not just blog generation but also burger generation and marketing materials. I recently became inspired by a particular writer who posts videos multiple times per week, regardless of how trivial the content may be. I was so confused by the videos that I sought to find out what he must be selling and realized how many followers he had for the vlogging, not just the writing! Keep it up Jamey, I’ve been enjoying your book.

  4. I think the fact that your on social media everyday answering all the questions that get asked, typically first, is sort of your niche or burger of the day so to speak. It’s a big part of what keeps me reading when new stuff shows up.

  5. We’ve tried some different things on the Overworld Games accounts, like “what component is this from?” types of mini-games, creator tips, strategy tips, but it takes a long time to plan them out and make them meaningful, so it’s not very consistent at all. We now just try to post a cool picture from a game we’ve been playing with some kind of hopefully interesting commentary, but even that doesn’t happen every day. When it gets to be “crunch time”, like during a particularly busy time for us (usually during fulfillment, when we’re live, or just before launch), it’s so hard to prioritize social media ahead of other tasks.

    Another challenge I found, which I bet you find too, Jamey, is: What do the people who follow the Stonemaier Games accounts want to hear from you? Are they Kickstarter creators? Game designers? Game players who don’t care much about the creation process? Entrepreneurs who don’t even play games? It’s hard to post content that all of those different types of people want to hear.

    Your post is motivating though. Despite the challenges, I’ll try to come up with a more consistent plan for our accounts. To the internet!

    1. Brian: Thanks for sharing your experience with the “daily special.” I can see how it’s hard to keep up with every day.

      That’s a great question, especially since the people who follow the Stonemaier Games FB page probably want different things. I would guess the majority are there because they want information about Stonemaier Games itself (anything related to our products).

  6. Is is interesting to learn from that. But I think it would be more difficult for you to emulate it. Hi Pointe can create a big mess and people think it’s fun, and get hyped. You can’t post a big mess.

    If you have artists working on x, y, and z games you could post an illustration everyday. No card information on it or the name of the game. But that would go against your trial-idea of not creating too much hype for a game.

  7. One really interesting way of this kind of daily (or whatever regular schedule) engagement is the photos of the pink meeples from Imperial Settlers that Portal Games posts, in all sorts of different random environments.

    That specific social media campaign is really neat because not only does it create interesting content that can be unique on a regular basis without too much work (the meeples are tiny and everyone has a camera on their phone, so you just have to take a quick photo op throughout your day), but it also offers an opportunity for active engagement from its audience. Anyone who has the game could take out their meeples and do photo shoots and share them on social media too.

    I could see easily using something like this in a shorter more focused social media campaign to specifically create a story, too. People would be compelled to come back to see what the next piece of the story is, where it’s going.

    1. Alex: Thanks for sharing this! I like the “meeples in different places” concept, especially since anyone can do it. I think you’re addition to this idea–creating an ongoing story–is really clever.

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