When I found out last summer that my friend Greg Verdino was writing a book, I thought “Finally! A chance to get inside of that brilliant mind of his!” And trust me when I say, microMARKETING does not disappoint.
Just know, I did it for you dear readers! I was going to write a review of Greg’s book anyway (because I had already bought it, read it, and loved it), but this way I could score a FREE book to give away to one lucky micromarketer!
Success through the Right Small Things
“…the concept of the global microbrand—the seemingly humble small business that gets big results by thinking and acting small—not only isn’t oxymoronic; it is actually perfectly in synch with the times.”
Chapter 9 of microMARKETING spoke volumes to me. Not only because it brings together the seven shifts that Greg discusses throughout the book, but because it’s an example of a customer-centric business that proves you can put your customers or, ‘friends’ (as Lauren Luke calls them), at the center of your business and still generate revenue.
Before we dive into the story of Lauren Luke, let’s quickly look at the seven shifts (click for a chart):
- Resonate with masses of communicators;
- Tap into pass-along power and peer-to-peer potential of the network effect;
- Deliver mutual value through two-way interactions;
- Make a commitment to engage people directly in real time;
- Build meaningful relationships;
- Earn attention; and
- Have success through lots and lots of small things.
The Cinderella Story
Lauren Luke is one of the world’s best known makeup artists. You can find her product line, By Lauren Luke, at Sephora. But that wasn’t always the case. She started small. Very small. You see, Lauren was a single mom selling makeup products on eBay. To actively promote and drive traffic to her eBay store, Lauren started sharing photos of herself with various makeup looks along with the makeup kits she was selling. With that one change, Lauren started receiving correspondence from customers who wanted to learn her tricks of the trade. Being overwhelmed with requests, Lauren thought it would make more sense to just share her tips on YouTube. Video-after-video Lauren taught women how to apply makeup just like famous actresses, musicians or makeup seen in ads (a micromaven sharing microcontent).
And with time Lauren built up a base of fans (microculture) who watched her videos, learned how to do makeup and requested more (over 417K subscribers to date). Then on one fateful day, Lauren did a requested video showing how to do a Leona Lewis’ makeup look from her video Bleeding Heart (today Lauren’s video has over 3,672,922 views!). A video that eventually garnered the attention of an agency by the name of Anomaly (ironic in the beauty industry, if you ask me) that helped set Lauren off in the direction of her own product line.
Cinderella Kicks the Beauty Business in the Smokey Eye
On the day of unveiling her new product line, Lauren didn’t invite traditional mass marketing outlets. Nope. She did a few other things. First, Lauren made a video of her excitement to see her new product line so that “people who can’t come will still be able to see what I am seeing.” See, it wasn’t about garnering press. It was about being able to stay connected to her friends that had been with her from the beginning of her journey. Second, she invited a handful of bloggers and about 500 friends. And why not? Doing so opens the flood gates to thousands of pieces of microcontent from people who actually like you: Flickr photos, blog posts, tweets, Facebook wall posts, MySpace status updates…
Even today, years later, there are continued two-way interactions between Lauren and her friends.
“While the packaging bears Lauren’s name, the line itself is shaped (even defined) through the input from the community that Lauren has fostered over time.”
And these three things, my corporate marketing and agency friends, are exactly what makes this not only a micromarketing story, but a customer-centric story.
The beauty industry has NEVER been able to pull this off kind of branding, community, marketing or loyalty. Want to know why? Read Greg’s book! (I’ll give you a hint…they think BIG.)
Seriously. I didn’t give you all of the details here because Greg truly will walk you through how to use micromarketing for your own business. You’ll even get homework, er, I mean a worksheet, at the end of the book to help guide your efforts.
*Are you a Micromarketer? Prove it!
If you’ve made it this far, you certainly deserve a prize! Ready?
Share with us why you think you are a micromarketer (I think there is enough information floating around for you to figure out if you are a micromarketer or not) and what successes you’ve achieved and I’ll pick the winner. The caveat? You need to write a post about the book when your done. You know, to keep the small things going.
No rules. It’s my blog, right? So discretion of picking a winner is all mine. Be forewarned, I am picky.
[Disclosure: I received a free copy of microMARKETING from Powered, Greg Verdino’s employer. However, I purchased my own copy to read and this review is based on that purchase (Greg's worth the $14.82 Kindle price, don't you think?). Don’t believe me FTC? Read this review. If you win the free copy of microMARKETING it is your job to disclose that you received the free book from Powered and me. Deal?]