So, I arrived early Wednesday morning at JFK for my annual meeting with other advertising presidents in New York City.
My flight got in very early. I have a while before our initial noon session gets going. Since I have the extra time, I figure no need to pay a full taxi for just me. So, bravely, I find the midtown bus that will take me to Grand Central.
I am braced for an hour of hell. But, what the heck, I am going to save some money.
I find the NYC Airporter.
I was surely looking a little bewildered and lost when a lady named Connie from NYC Airporter says pleasantly: “Need a lift into the city? Just provide me with a credit card for the $17 charge and I’ll have one of our guys put your luggage on the bus and off you’ll go.”
Onto the bus. We’re in New York right? So the collection of characters on board is…..well, what you would expect in New York including, among other colorful characters, an Asian women who spoke no English, a musician, and a guy in a white oxford shirt and a blue blazer (if you haven’t already guessed, that would be me).
Connie gets on and makes sure everyone knows where they are headed and when their stops will be. She does a great job in communicating to the Asian woman and assures her that she will be fine and that the bus driver will take care of her.
Then, the bus driver makes his entrance.
Jovial, upbeat – he welcomes everyone to his bus. He announces that he wants this next hour to be an enjoyable ride for everyone on-board.
He then says: “Hey, everyone? Do you mind if I play my “oldies” playlist?” He added, “I must warn you, you may see me dancing in my driver seat but feel free to dance along.”
As we head into rush hour, the tunes aboard the NYC Airporter are cranked and everyone on board indeed seems to be having a great time.
The Supremes followed by Bob Dylan followed by The Stones. Soon, many on the bus are singing along. Cars honking. Traffic stalled. No one on the NYC Airporter cared – we were all jamming with our bus driver.
As we pulled up to Grand Central, the bus driver announced to everyone that he is first going to make sure the Asian woman gets to where she is going. He literally takes her by the hand and escorts her half way down the block to where she needed to catch her next bus. She looked very relieved as he told her what to look for. Everyone on the bus took notice.
Then, he let us off.
Every single person on the bus, the melting pot of guest riders, commented to and complimented the driver. Most were heard to say:
“That was the best bus ride I have ever been on.”
I provided my own praise to the driver. And, I had to ask: “Where did you learn to be such an engaging bus driver?”
He replied: “The folks at my company always stress that we have the opportunity to make someone’s day so why not do it?”
Wow. A New York City bus company that truly understands - your people are your brand.
That’s one bus we should all get on.
If other readers have examples of 'people believe people' branding - send it our way. We love these tales where the 'magic' is working - in all kinds of places and all kinds of businesses.
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