My colleague, Loic Le Meur, is interviewed by Shel Israel for their upcoming book on business blogging. Loic shares his story about a T-shirt fanatic who built a community of like-minded T-shirt fans via his blog. His site is now a business which turns the traditional “we-design, you-buy” commerce model inside out (sorry about the pun, couldn’t resist) and solicits his customers for design ideas which they then all vote on. This virtually guarantees a buyer.
I use this t-shirt guy as an example to large corporations, because it shows what can be done in large corporations. They always laugh at me at first. They say, this is a geek writing about T-shirts. I say, no, wait. Our t-shirt guy puts the customer at the center of everything he does in the company. He realized very quickly through the comments that the customer had more ideas about the products than he did. It’s not just about feedback. The customers design the product. I took this idea to L’Oreal. L’Oreal says, we are this global corporation and you bring us a guy who designs t-shirts? I tell them this is the future of your e-commerce. Your customer will be in the center of it all. This goes back to “markets are conversations.” The t-shirt guy has not put a single euro into advertising. It is all word-of-mouth. The customer does everything. He is merely organizing it. What’s important is how the blog moves customers to the center of the organization, rather than over on the edge of it.
Interview on Naked Conversations