We recently celebrated my eldest son's birthday. Usually my wife would have prepared his meal of choice (which was brinner), but we had a busy day. So, this year we went to iHop. At the end of the meal, they came out singing and presented him with a complimentary dessert. (Remember when that was a big deal and went above and beyond expectations?) After the meal a stranger came up to our table and gave us some interesting information.
As it turns out, it was her birthday too (though she was 60 years his senior). She told us that, with a little planning, iHop gives more than just free desserts to brithday-ers. They give free meals--it's a Pancake Revolution! She went on to tell us that many restaurants do this sort of thing. So, I did a little research.
On your birthday, you could pretty easily get three free meals and at least one free dessert!
Personally, I think this is great marketing. I am automatically more inclined to take my kids to a restaurant that gives free food. If that becomes something that is anticipated, the experience is automatically heightened. If the experience is better, frequency is automatically more likely. Genius!
I know that this is a short and simple post, and the idea is not all that novel, but it is worth thinking about what sort of birthday benefit your business could offer. I could feed you some line about the psychology of making people feel special and making it all about them, but odds are they already feel like it's about them. This is about money and expectations.
You save me money (like I actually spend less than usual) and my expectations are exceeded, and you've turned a customer into a client.