Give It Away, Now

Give It Away, Now

What we keep we lose, and only what we give remains our own” was stitched on a banner that I saw every day on my way into elementary school. At that point, it was more of a moral compass. More recently, I’ve seen it turn into sound business advice.

Harbor LightsThere is no greater assignment of personal equity than to give a product or experience as a gift. On an early date with my husband, I gave him my favorite album – thereby assigning my “VeeDub equity” to it. Always a risk – he could hate it, and the value of “VeeDub equity” could have decreased in his eyes.

Similarly, giving a customer a little piece of your brand to give away themselves (an experience invitation, a sample, a coupon, a badge, etc) is a great litmus test. Your customer will do one of 3 things, which will allow you to know how to invest in them in the future:

Ignore it – Either you chose an unappealing representation of the brand to share with them or they were never going to be an enthusiast. This individual is not one you should continue to invest in disproportionately.

Keep it for themselves – This means that they enjoy your brand, but will not share because they either do not feel like it reflects positively on their own brand equity or they do not feel comfortable sharing with others. These folks are not hubs. Continue to value their patronage, but they are not evangelists in the making.

Pass the brand along – They feel like sharing your brand reflects back positively on them and they are willing to assign their personal equity to it. Embrace these people. They are going to be a higher ROI investment than any other acquisition channel. Give them the tools & education to become evangelists.

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