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A recent article on Forbes told the story of Swiftwick, a sock company that had such a fervent following that customers had been getting their logo tattooed on themselves. According to the article, this company does little to no advertising. It acquires new customers mostly through recommendations and word-of-mouth advertising. The writer interviewed Chris Cooper, the first customer to get the logo tattoo to find out why. His answer was that it wasn’t only because he loved the socks but that he also connected with the company. “Most of the people I work with… wouldn’t know what my tattoo stood for. But I have a connection to the product. I know the people behind it, their attitude, and I like the company”, said Cooper. The article goes on to explain how Swiftwick “visibly support(s) charities, events, and trade shows that move their employees and their customers.”
An interesting statement that was made in the article by Swiftwick CEO Mark Cleveland was an extension of the saying we’ve all heard countless times… “People do business with people they like.” His take on creating a company that resonates with its customers begins with this philosophy but extends it to “People do business with people they like, so hire people who are worth liking!” In addition, the article illustrated how Swiftwick protects their company culture no matter what it costs. “Culture is the most difficult thing to build and the easiest to tear down. It takes years to acquire and you can lose it in 10 seconds,” says Cleveland.
Getting to the point in which your customers are so connected with your company that they are willing to get a tattoo of your logo is a spectacular vision. You don’t have to be a huge company or brand with millions of fans to accomplish this. Before you look for that customer, ask yourself if any of your employees would get your logo tattooed on them. Even before that, would you get your own logo tattooed on your body?
Companies and brands like Apple and Disney have millions of fans worldwide because their focus is on everyone that is involved with or connected to their company – from their CEO to their employees to the consumers – they understand that to truly create a culture and experience that engenders a cult-like loyal customer base you must have buy-in from everyone.
Swiftwick seems to have captured the essence of their customer base by ensuring that they have a clear vision of their culture, hire people who compliment and support it, create high quality products which they then deliver to their customers with exceptional service.
By making their vision reality, they’re able to create clearly defined core values to compliment their mission, vision and culture. The “About” page on their website says it all in the “Living It Out” section:
1. We have fun, enjoy our jobs and make Swiftwick a company that is easy to do business with.
2. We display positive attitudes and hearts of service internally and with our customers.
3. We are a company that is ready, willing, and able to quickly adapt to change.
4. We value the growth of our team by training, teaching, and coaching so that everyone understands their responsibilities.
5. Whatever the job, we show initiative in our work and finish what we start.
6. We value good communication by listening attentively to our consumers, our distribution partners and to members of our team.
7. Each person at Swiftwick is empowered to identify problems, discover the solution and follow it through to completion.
8. We bring to market high quality, innovative products with technology and features that set us apart from our primary competitors.
9. Protecting our assets is the responsibility of everyone at Swiftwick.
10.Working safely takes priority above getting the job done.
When you can define yourself and your culture this clearly, you’re well on your way to earning the privilege of seeing your company’s logo tattooed on a customer’s body.