A recent trip back home further proves what I’ve known for many years: Personal experiences can (and should) be a driving force behind our business decisions. They also help us better understand how consumers think.
My mother is an avid crocheter and quilter. She’s also a mean knitter, sewer and maker of a killer Mac and Cheese (as a meal). She crocheted me a ’70s-style hat and scarf to take back to Florida, where the needle’s already tipping into the 50s.
How does my new gift relate to business success? Mom’s actions were similar to any company wanting to reach the goal of supplying something in demand. Here’s how:
- She identified the problem: It’s getting chilly.
- She identified the need: I will need to stay warm when I walk the dog.
- She identified the want: I could get a low-end, non-stylish hat just about anywhere, but I’d prefer something fashionable.
- She identified what I was willing to pay: Okay, in this case it was nothing, but only because my mother would never even let me reimburse her for supplies.
- She identified what’s popular: Similar handmade cotton hat and scarf sets go for $30 to $60 on Etsy.
- She played the scarcity card: She only made a few in this particular color, which is a unique blend of greens and white (variegated).(For those crafty types, she used BERNAT handicrafter cotton.)
- She addressed long-term use issues: It’s made of cotton, so I can wash it on a gentle cycle. If I take care of the set, it should last for many years.
There are other accomplishments which weren’t necessarily part of her goals:
- She’s built a loyal customer base: Not only do family and friends appreciate her work, fellow crafters and visitors to local craft shows admire her work.
- She gets people to talk about her: My sharing photos of her quilts and other crafts across my social media channels (which garners re-posts) proves it!
- She’s established a brand: In her neck of the woods people recognize her name.
- She’s created demand: Despite the fact she doesn’t take orders (she uses her own discretion), she is often asked to create specific items using specific patterns.
If my mother were a business, she’d set a great example of how to engage consumers, make people talk, and build a loyal customer base.
The most compelling reason she’d be a true success, however, is because she simply loves what she does. And those of us who benefit from her work do, too.