I wrote this article after being told about a customised children’s book business. You can find them at www.lostmy.name
I visited the site just after Christmas and was greeted by an apology, the business had appeared in a number of national newspaper articles and had been overwhelmed with orders. Nice problem, nicely handled. Let your customers know what is happening and if you can let them know why.
The concept of customised books is not new, far from it. But I have never seen such a brilliant adoption of the idea. The books are not standard stories with a child’s name imposed as a character. The child’s name IS the story. I strongly suggest that you go to the site to see how the process works. The website forms a shop front where you can see a screen based version of ‘your’ book produced in seconds. As you review your book you are also presented with a pricing structure with increasing levels of discount to encourage additional purchases. All beautifully done and beautifully integrated.
This is a magnificent blend of pictures, story and technology to produce a delightful product which combines the absolute best of each component. None of the elements is sacrificed and I suggest that it is unlikely that the product could have been produced without a number of skilled artists joining forces.
There are so many good ideas to take away from this, here are a few that come to my mind.
Combine your skills with other related or associated experts. Focus on doing what you are best at. Who could you join forces with to produce something that neither of you could (expertly) do individually?
Use mass customisation to make your product unique to you and your customer.
Show customers what they are going to get before they have it. A bit like the old technique of “Take this puppy home for the weekend. If you don’t like it bring it back on Monday.”
Make purchasing easy. I love that the website maintains the same look and feel all the way through the process, including the order and purchase pages.
Watch developing technology and consider how you might employ it to extend your market. e.g. full colour print on demand.