I'm definitely a fan of Andy Sernovitz's blog, and his recent installment was particularly wonderful - if you haven't seen it yet then be sure to check it out: Home is Where Your Mug Is. The basic idea is simple:
Starbucks should give their best customers a personalized mug.
Giving out free stuff to special customers is nothing new, but a free glass or cup is only the most superficial part of this idea. The key is in the personalization -make your customer feel unique and special by doing something out of the ordinary and personal just for them. Sure, it takes more work. But your customer now knows you care enough about them that you would go to such lengths to celebrate them. Whenever they use it, they have an opportunity to talk about the gift and why they were given one. Seeing someone else with a such unique item may make other customers wonder why they don't have a relationship like that with their shop. And every visit to your place of business becomes a special event.
We know our top super users and influencers in our communities very well - can you imagine what wonderful, personalized rewards you could give them that they can talk about and display, both on-and-offline? What have you done to make them feel special?