When Life Hands You Lemons: Have Your Client’s Name Engraved on ThemPosted by Jessica Oman
A guest post by Annie Harrington
Recently, I spent the afternoon walking through a neighborhood filled with trees. It is officially summer now—the air is warm and fragrant. The allergy pill I take every morning confirms it. Before I rounded the corner of the block, I could hear a child’s voice incessantly chiming the price of a cup of lemonade. Over and over and over again. She advertised a drink and a cookie, a special price for two, a real deal when purchased in combination.
I remember embracing the same type of business strategy at that age—assault the customer with my cuteness, embrace my flawed handwriting in hopes of an extra five cents. In chicken-scratch handwriting and Crayola crayon, I advertised my product so that I might earn enough to purchase another Polly Pocket. This girl’s sign was different though. Instead of creased construction paper, her vinyl banner shined with brilliant graphic design, its font was designed to (readably) mimic her own writing, and I was impressed!
She couldn’t have been more than eight and already she’s wholly immersed in the world of personalized marketing in a way that took me years, probably because it didn’t experience such growth until recently. Thanks to websites like Vistaprint, businesses small and large are able to present a face that is both readable and precise at a reasonable cost. As a business owner, this girl selling lemonade on the street corner has constructed a sign she believes will appeal to her target audience and perceived consumer base. Judging by the line, I’m inclined to say she got it right.
And in a few years, she’ll likely, if she sticks with the juice business, expand to a social media platform that offers her audience an even more personal experience. By using websites like Google+, small businesses are able to make a consumer, who sees over 5,000 ads per day, feel like they are receiving a message meant especially for them. Thanks to the power of social media, many consumers are receiving advertisements that are tailored to their particular interests—often at no cost to the business owner.
In 2006, San Francisco bus stops advertising milk began emitting the odor of chocolate chip cookies. The ads were short lived (pedestrians quickly complained) but the idea was founded in a sound one—offer consumers a unique experience that meets their expectations and offers them something other advertisers aren’t.
Give them an experience and not just a product. Give them a story. Have you ever been handed an experience, or told a story? If so, what did you think?
Annie Harrington is a small business owner and freelance writer. In her
free time she enjoys writing about ways other business owners can
positively impact their brand image with unique printed material while
saving money with Vistaprint coupons.
Photo credit: Donabel and Ewen