Group(on) Hug

My new favorite authors are the people at Groupon, an email service that provides deep discounts on products and local services.

Maybe their sense of humor wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but it makes me read the description of every item for sale on that day’s email – and tell others about them.

I mean, who wouldn’t be interested in kitchen tiles “in the forest pattern, hand-picked by squirrels” or a spa treatment that makes you feel like royalty “without the hassle of posing for playing-card portraits”?

In addition to merchandise and experiences, the site also offers advice, for instance, a recent “Guide to Kindness,” which advised: “Adopt a pet! It can be someone else’s pet if you’re like 90% sure you’ll do a better job.”

There’s a public service aspect, as well, such as the cautionary note provided for visitors of Dade City Wild Things, reminding us that: “Lions are unpredictable creatures, which is why you should never approach them in the wild or depend on them to babysit your pet gazelle.”

When I think of the writers, I see them as people typing away at their keyboards and laughing at their own tortured jokes. But the important thing is that I think of them as people, not a corporation.

The point is that, backed up by some great service, the site has made a real connection with me and keeps me coming back to see what’s new and, yes, to buy stuff. Wouldn’t we all like customers and prospects like that? Is there something to be learned here?

I’m not saying that all corporate communications, web sites, blogs, etc., should be funny (although it might make the world a better place), but they should be human – and maybe even occasionally surprising.

Think about it. I, myself, am going shopping.

Bonnie Limbach

Bonnie has two loves: some guy named Dennis and writing. Bonnie is focused on client communications initiatives, including strategic messaging, brand development and communications planning for our clients. She has more than 30 years of experience developing creative content that resonates with readers.