Five takeaways from The Thank You Economy

I just finished reading The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk. It was a good read and I recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a little spark of inspiration.

Here are five things I bookmarked:

An advocate for your brand has a higher value than a regular customer. They spend more, are likely to keep spending and even increase spending as time goes on. (Guess we should be working on turning regular consumers into advocates, huh?)

Companies cannot control their message online. You may have someone leave a negative comment, but just because you have don’t have a Facebook page, that won’t stop people from commenting online. Use this as an opportunity to make a customer happier. At least you can respond.

Play to the emotional middle. Stories that appeal to us make us pay attention. Those are the ones we remember. (Be genuine. People can sense when you’re not.)

It doesn’t matter if you’re face to face with a customer or the customer is visiting your website. Emotions exist whenever the customer is interacting with you.

What is the difference between a banner ad on the Internet and a Facebook recommendation from a friend? It’s the social context that makes all the difference. It’s the new word of mouth advertising.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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Google plus

I begged an invite from a friend, anxious to try the latest trend. Google+ is still in beta, but I have a sense that it’s going to change the social media landscape.

Two things that I like about it immediately?

  1. The circles concept, which allows the user to put people into categories. One can then set privacy settings for the categories. Facebook does allow you to assign people to groups, but it doesn’t seem to be as intuitive as G+.
  2. The ability to follow a person, similar to following someone on Twitter. I find this to be a useful feature, especially for business. What are the people in your industry saying and doing? It’s easy to find out.

Have you tried Google+ yet?

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Convenience or stalking?

Shopping at the mall with a friend a few days ago, we went into Old Navy. Upon checking out, the sales clerk asked me if I wanted to provide my e-mail address. I agreed, thinking that I might get a coupon to use on my next purchase. I got more than that. Fifteen seconds–yes, literally 15 seconds–after walking out the door, my smart phone buzzed. I checked my e-mail and there was a message from ON. Somewhat incredulous, I shared this with my friend. Her response: “Stalking!”

It turns out that Old Navy has established a paperless receipt policy. The store will e-mail a copy of your receipt to you. They’re not the only ones doing this. The following day, I was in K-mart and had the same experience. Interestingly, it’s not truly paperless, as both retailers gave me a paper slip as well, leading me to believe this is not the primary reason ON and K-mart want my address.

My feelings are mixed; I can see the convenience of having a copy of the receipt in my e-mail. But on the other hand, do I really want my e-mail bogged down with this stuff? I did not unsubscribe, because I’m interested to see where Old Navy and K-mart go with this. However, it’s also relevant to note that my friend unsubscribed from Old Navy the next day.

What do you think? Is it possible for a large company to establish a genuine relationship with individual customers?

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Kalikasan Artisan Partnership in the news

I’ve been privileged to work with Kalikasan Artisan Partnership on their eco-inspired designs. They have been featured in the Dec. 2 issue of Volume One magazine. Read their story!

P.S. Their products would make great Christmas gifts!

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