If you’ve not heard of Chegg (you probably haven’t unless you’re in school), it is a pioneer in textbooks, enabling students to rent their books for a period of time, usually a semester, at a fraction of the cost of buying. They make the process ridiculously simple and shipping both ways is free. They even plant a tree in your name, allowing you to choose one of three locations. In my three semesters in grad school, I’ve gone to the Chegg site, found my books, entered in my credit card info, and had them two days later.
What separates Chegg? A slap bracelet and a beer coozie.
You see, my second shipment came with a Chegg.com slap bracelet, a fun little toy that took me back to middle school when we were buying them in all sorts of colors and prints until a few kids ruined the fun by injuring themselves, leading to bans in schools across the country. It was a great surprise and totally unexpected, something along the lines of getting a toy in the bottom of a Cap’n Crunch box. I thought it a great example of creating value for the customer inexpensively (large quantities are about $.50/each) by bringing a little fun to what would otherwise be considered a run-of-the-mill online purchase. And the beer coozie? That was in my summer term’s box o’ books.
What’s the result? I’ve told my fellow B-School friends about Chegg and I’ve given them a few shout-outs on Twitter. And now I’m writing about their great service and little surprises on my blog. At roughly $.50 an order, they’ve secured a customer (me) that will likely use their service for the rest of my graduate studies and earned a whole lot of word-of-mouth. Any marketing exec would love to have that kind of ROI.