It’s easy in the age of everything digital to decry how impersonal our day-to-day has become. Shopping, making appointments, dating–all are facilitated in part or entirely via smartphone, tablet, or social media. Even for those of us who prefer a low-touch life, there are those times when your specific (and usually urgent) needs can’t be met by an automated menu. For Corey Andrews of Minneapolis, October 29th presented one of these times. It was on that day that his wife Kirsten’s car was broken into and her handbag was stolen. Upsetting as the crime was, most devastating to Kirsten was the loss of a Coach coin purse inside the bag. It was in this coin purse that her then-boyfriend Corey had placed her engagement ring nine years earlier, along with an engraved silver key that read, “Marry me?”

Determined to replace the sentimental coin purse in time for their next wedding anniversary, Corey went where we all go whenever we need something: the Internet. While on LinkedIn searching for a contact at Coach, he noticed that an old high school classmate of his was connected to several Coach employees. He sent her an email explaining his situation. This classmate, who happened to be L2’s Head of Research & Advisory Maureen Mullen, contacted David Duplantis, President of Global Digital & Customer Experience for Coach, who personally sent Corey this email the following day–on a Sunday.

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image (3)Over the course of the next five days, David searched Coach’s archives for the long-discontinued limited edition coin purse, keeping Corey updated every step of the way. After locating the exact duplicate–one of only two in the brand’s entire inventory–David had the special purse delivered overnight to Minneapolis, even sending Corey an email the day it arrived to make sure it was in his possession. ” I couldn’t believe that a complete stranger (and president at Coach) would have such a vested interest in helping me find a coin purse that was manufactured more than nine years ago,” Corey wrote in an email. “He made a huge impression and secured my wife and me as Coach customers for life.” As much as we focus on digital innovation here at L2, it’s not hard to recognize the irreplaceable value of kindness, attention to detail, and follow through. David Duplantis didn’t write Corey Andrews on a Sunday evening because he had to, nor did he track the package because it would somehow help Coach’s bottom line. He did it simply to help. In a video interview from earlier this year, L2 Founder Scott Galloway called Coach “the retailer of the future”–a statement that makes even more sense after hearing this story.

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