We Don’t Make Anything Anymore

By, Sharon on Wednesday May 26, 2010

By: Jude Carter

Have you heard about Blank Label?  They’re a hot young company selling custom men’s shirts online. While they’re based in Boston, the shirts are actually made in Shanghai. Never mind, the point is that they’re doing something really original.

They are inviting customers to design their own shirts. Their website is really user friendly and fun. Customers get to choose styles, fabrics, buttons, cuffs and more. Though technology is a big part of what makes their business model work, what I like best is that they are actually inviting customers to call them. Right on the website, you’ll see, “Call us. We like to talk.” And sometimes, you’ll actually get the president. They also use live chat for engaging customers about their experience.

So what are they really selling? It ain’t just shirts. To me, their brand is more about inviting customers to “co-create” the product. In doing so, they encourage an open dialogue. Customers feel engaged, important and part of the process. Pretty different from walking into a department store and buying a shirt!

We offer a similar experience to our customers. A popular feature of our workplace communication programs is that they can co-design custom posters, typically for employee recognition or in-house campaigns on safety, health & wellness. They love the fact that they can present their ideas to our designers who in turn create one-of-a-kind posters that they helped to make. (A side benefit is that our employees have a first-hand experience of delighting a customer.)

Are you offering your customers an opportunity to co-create something?

Thanks!