Tacony Puts on a Show

Here at MYOB, we’re always looking for good examples to pass along to our readers.  Here’s one of the best I’ve seen in a while and I didn’t even have to leave the building to see it first hand.

According to their web site, "The American Sewing Guild is a national non-profit organization dedicated to people who believe sewing is a rewarding and creative activity."  They recently held their regional meeting in St. Charles, MO, a community located just west of St. Louis. 

One of the events the ASG members enjoyed was a visit to the Corporate Headquarters of Tacony Corporation.  Our sewing divisions, particularly Baby Lock, really pulled out all the stops to make the visitors welcome.  As Julia writes on the "J.Sews" blog, we seem to have made a good impression.  She writes, "I was astonished at the resources the Tacony people put into the tour."


[Ken Tacony, CEO of Tacony Corporation, welcomes American Sewing Guild members to the Corporate Center (Click to enlarge)]

So why spend so much time and money to impress a handful of consumers?  For one thing, these are people who use our products.  The fact that they belong to a national sewing organization and spend their time and money to go to a regional sewing event is a strong indication that they don’t mind spending money on their hobby which also happens to be our business.

But, more important, they’re influential consumers.  Other sewers listen to what they have to say as evidenced by Julia’s blog.  I promise you that when they got home they told their friends about Tacony Corporation and Baby Lock.

You may remember a while back we posted the story of Universal Studios and the way they promoted their new Harry Potter section to just seven people. (Tell Seven People)  Rather than promote the new experience with a high-dollar ad campaign, they contacted the seven people they thought were the most influential Harry Potter fans.  The low-cost campaign eventually resulted in 350 million impressions.

Here’s the thing:  You have influential customers, people who are respected in the community, whether the community is defined by geography, profession, hobby, or any number of other things.  You should cultivate those customers who are members of YOUR community, the community who buys your product.  Make a good impression on them, you make a good impression on the community.

But (and this is critical) you can’t fake it.  If you don’t truly appreciate the people you’re trying to influence, you’ll be spotted as a phony so fast it will make your head spin.  At Tacony, we understand that people who sew are critical to our business, as are the people who buy our other products.  What’s good for the industry is good for us.

If we had just put out a bunch of samples and handed out some free stuff, we wouldn’t have fooled our ASG visitors.  I watched our people getting ready and you could see how excited they were to show our sewing friends all the things they could do with our products.  It was a labor of love.

How can you put this concept to use for you?  Use your imagination.  Have a cocktail party for your best customers to introduce them to new items.  Offer some exclusive information, maybe a class or seminar, just to your key customers.  There are a lot of things you can do.  While it’s ok to have merchandise available for sale, this shouldn’t be a selling event.  Your goal is to make an impression, not to make a sale.  Just be ready to take their money if they insist.

If you have any other ideas, please share them with us.

As Julia said at the conclusion of her post, "I hope the total good will and eventual sales turn out to make this effort worth their while — we sure appreciated all the work they did for us!"

Julia, we appreciate everything you and your sewing friends do for us!


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