3 ways to let your talkers own a piece of your business

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People take a lot of ownership in recommending businesses to friends, and they feel personally responsible for whether or not that recommendation works out. So why not give your talkers more ownership of what you have to offer in the first place?

Here’s how three different companies are doing it:

1. Be specific about the feedback you take to heart
2. Make ownership meaningful
3. Let them design your stuff

1. Be specific about the feedback you take to heart

As a customer, it’s easy to think that your feedback won’t make a difference. After all, how many times have you gotten a generic, automated response after sending a company your opinion? If you don’t want your customers to feel that same sense of disappointment, show them you’re doing something about it. Like this blog post from the Alamo Drafthouse that outlines 16 different requests they got from their customers and exactly what the company will do to answer them. The more specific you are with how you’re addressing your customers’ feedback, the more they can trust that you’re actually doing something about it.

2. Make ownership meaningful

Did you know that REI is not just a beloved major brand, but they’re also a co-op? And their membership isn’t the kind where you just get a key card and an email newsletter. They let their members see REI’s financials, hear exclusive messages from their president and chairman, and vote for their Board of Directors. But you don’t have to run your business like a co-op to make your customers feel involved and important. Give them a little insight into your company. Ask them to help you make one big decision. A few of these meaningful acts of ownership can go a long way.

3. Let them design your stuff

Poprageous, an online retailer that specializes in funky nylon clothing, lets their fans design their products. On their “Create” platform, customers pick the type of clothing, upload the art to be printed onto it, name it, and set a minimum presale goal and price. The customer shares that design with all of their friends, and if enough people say they’ll buy it, Poprageous will make it. That puts their customers at the center of a product’s success — giving them ownership of the design, branding, and marketing of it. But it doesn’t stop there. In fact, customer input is so important to Poprageous that they also host a private Facebook group for fans to talk directly to the company’s owner about their ideas and suggestions.


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  1. Ryan Ostrove

    When a brand lets the customers take co-create things it really cements them as customers. They have something invested in your company and they are more likely to remain loyal customers for a longer period of time.

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