In my post yesterday on how music artists and fans belong to the same community, Spike adds this comment: "I guess the difference between the terms "customer" and "fan" are too much to overcome for some companies."
Then a few minutes ago, I saw via LifeHacker that Ben and Jerry's is giving away free Ice Cream Cones today.
Most companies have two ways of looking at such a promotion:
1 - We can't do this, because we'll probably lose money
2 - We have to do this, because we'll probably gain fans
The vast majority of companies will take Option #1. The vast majority of companies also aren't as successful as Ben and Jerry's.
There might be a connection.
UPDATE: Kevin adds in the comments, "Ultimately, the marketing blogosphere is begging executive leadership to choose faith over facts. I think customers are begging for this, too."
The Viral Garden, Marketing