Why The Best Products are Souvenirs

2013.4.28 baseball souvenir

Marketing expert Seth Godin has more than once noted that a book is souvenir – a vessel for ideas that allows them to be readily used and shared.

I believe we can further expand on that idea.

Have you ever considered that the products and services your small business creates are souvenirs too?

What Exactly is a Souvenir?

We often think of souvenirs as relatively low-value items that are purchased or received for free as a memento of an experience with a place, occasion, business, or organization.

However, the original and primary definition of souvenir is to remember or come to mind.

Doesn’t every business aspire to be memorable?

Isn’t this purpose of your marketing, sales, and customer service? And most significantly: aren’t the best products and experiences more memorable than their counterparts.

Like books, you want your products and services to be used and shared, as that sharing is what leads to viral marketing. This is what makes them social objects – and that creates profitable outcomes in this business environment in which consumers have a voice.

The value of a souvenir is meaningless – it could be large or small. The only reason the word is associated with inexpensive items is because that is how it has been typically used.

As the definition suggests, you can apply it to your business to make it more relevant and memorable, especially in this connected economy.

Why Do Souvenirs Work?

Souvenirs ideally reinforce emotional connections. When it comes to business, logic builds value and creates alignment with buyers; but it is nearly always emotion that results in the necessary trust that delivers a sale.

When a sale is consummated, the product is the souvenir – a reminder of exchanged or shared value with your business. Is that souvenir strong enough to stand on its own, or should your business have a follow-up process in place to further enhance its value?

Think about that.

Fans Buy Souvenirs

Sports fans spend a great deal of money on memorabilia to enjoy a stronger connection to a player or a team – and that’s also why some of your customers regularly buy from you.

Sport teams represent a community. The fans are the people associated with it (or want to be). That real or implied affiliation is powerful.

How can you create a similar feeling of community with your tribe – the buyers and influencers that support your business?

Of course, you know that you have all of these social media channels to make that happen. Your blog, Facebook page, newsletter, or Google+ community are all ideal for building community.

Successful marketing today is not something you do to buyers – but with them. It’s a collaboration, one that encourages inclusivity, even intimacy.

Are you ready to get friendlier with your community of fans that share your good works as they would a souvenir?

Hold that thought as you reconsider your social marketing.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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Thank You All

It is Thanksgiving here in the United States and I’d like to thank all of you that have crossed my path, and those who will do so some time in the near future.

Thank You Friends

I am thankful for how social media has connected me with so many interesting people that I would not have otherwise met.

I am also grateful for how it has reconnected me to so many friends that I have lost touch with over the years. As a result, I have learned more about you and your families and the journeys you are on – and that has been cool.

Thank You Practice

In particular, I am thankful for how this blog has connected me to so many new friends, colleagues, clients, influencers, and acquaintances.  It’s something I wish for you too, especially if you are a small business. This amazingly powerful technology is ideally suited for helping your business to be more relevant and relatable to the communities you serve.

Are you ready to make it a standard business practice?

Many of you have inspired me to continue this practice and develop it further, despite us hardly knowing each other. That too is a very nice outcome of this that I hope you now or soon will have the opportunity to enjoy.

Thank You Mistakes

I’m equally thankful for everyone who points out my mistakes or otherwise challenges me – here and at other venues where I am a live or virtual presenter. You have taught me to re-examine my work from new angles, and that always helps to crystalize my thinking for breaking new ground.

Of course, I don’t always agree with you because I know I cannot be all things to all people. Yet, you do help me understand those I cannot help, and that better clarifies who I can help and how.

If you are not making mistakes there is no learning, so I hope to keep making plenty more of them.

If everything is working out perfectly you should enjoy it. Just know that you’ll need to learn more to keep it going well.

Acknowledge mistakes, learn from them, but be indifferent to them emotionally. Attach your emotions instead to the circumstances in your life that are positive, rewarding, and if you are a business, profitable.

Most important is to try to learn how they happened. You need to know. And even though you may never get your answer, you should never stop asking.

Thank You Journey

I’m not there yet and hope I never will be, because when you stop learning you stop growing – and after that you start dying.

I’m definitely thankful for that.

How about you?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Until next time, Jeff

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