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Newsletter #725: The “Customize It” Issue

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When you make it easy for folks to customize your stuff, they'll love it and will show all their friends.

1> Add their logo
2> Put their face on it
3> Let them make it their own
4> Check it out: StillTasty.com

1. Add their logo

Allowing customers to add a simple logo or image to your product turns the standard gift basket or thank you into a personalized, branded note of appreciation. Dale and Thomas Popcorn lets you add an image to their packages, making it easy for customers to show whoever they're sending the gift to where it's from right away. With a simple printer set-up, you could do something similar by printing stickers allowing folks to add a personal touch to whatever they're ordering.

The Lesson: Something as simple as sticking your customers' logo on your stuff can significantly improve how personal it feels.

Learn More: Dale and Thomas Popcorn

2. Put their face on it

Nothing says personalization like your own face on something. For about $30, Jones Soda will put your face (or any photograph) on 12 bottles of your favorite flavor, complete with your own personal quote on the back. People order them for big social events like weddings, birthdays, and graduations — and the empty bottles stay on folks' shelves for years. If adding your customers' picture to your actual product is unrealistic, try adding their photos to your wall or your website — they'll love making sure all their friends check it out.

The Lesson: If someone's picture is on something, they're telling everyone.

Learn More: MyJones.com

3. Let them make it their own

Helping your fans create something that is completely their own will lead to happy, loyal, and repeat customers. Spoonflower, which prints custom fabric designs, is a business built on personalization. Crafters use the fabric to create custom clothes, quilts, toys, and handbags — and then upload pictures of their creations to Spoonflower's Flickr community and blog about their crafts and the company. Though this is probably the most elaborate example in this issue, you can encourage customization by having a lot of options for a particular product, or by having a special menu where customers can mix lots of flavors to create their own special dish.

The Lesson: Watch how excited customers get when you help them create something that's completely unique.

Learn More: Spoonflower

4. Check it out: StillTasty.com

Do you often find yourself saying, "Eww, how old is that?" when you open the fridge? Well, you don't have to rely on your nose to guess if it's edible or not anymore, because a quick search on StillTasty will tell you when to toss it back or when to toss it out. Mustard, for example (a key condiment here at GasPedal), is generally good for about a year after opening if kept in the fridge, according to StillTasty. They also have a bunch of tips on how to store food and how to keep things fresh for longer periods of time.

Check it out: StillTasty

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