Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Learning Library Lessons from a Company That Sells a Certified-Organic, Vegan, and Kosher Frozen-Dessert Product

Can't be done, you say?

Take a look.

OK, quit your drooling and take a look here.

Lessons Learned.  (From "Case Study:  How a Mom-and-Pop Operation Turned Itself into a Cult Brand".  MarketingProfs, August 10, 2010.)

Get personal: 
People feel a closer connection to products when they know and like the people behind the brand. So get out there, get acquainted, keep it real, build genuine relationships with people, and let your contagious passion shine through.  The library's management team -- and that might be just one person, in some cases -- needs to be involved in a variety of community activities.  (No reason why Board and Friends members can't help out, no matter what the size of the library.)  After each election, the director should invite new officials to the library for an informal tour and discussion -- and provide reports to all officials on a regular basis.

Empower your advocates
Help your fans to help you grow by offering the tools, motivation, and support they need to demonstrate demand and get your message out to others.  The South Central Library System's Online Advocacy Tool Kit offers numerous suggestions for improving the effectiveness of your library's advocacy team.  And use the resources found at the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation's Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries webpages.

Befriend your distributors, too: 
Get on the good side of the people who directly interact with customers on a daily basis, and find ways to make them enthusiastic about your product and brand.  The library's front-line staff -- the distribution of good will starts at the service desk(s) -- need to feel that their input in policy and planning decisions, particularly at the initial review level, is welcomed and appreciated.

As for the cult-like status, better to strive for your library to be at the heart of its community.

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