Awards & Engraving

October '16

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48 a-e-mag.com • A&E OCTOBER 2016 By Eric Priceman THE WORLD MARKETPLACE OF TROPHIES & AWARDS Many of the world's largest companies do business like this, and it is changing the way our customers and we look at com- merce in a big way. This approach toward business appears to be here to stay, and we need to look at these models to deter- mine what impact this will have on how we move forward with our businesses. THRIVE BY CONNECTION The world's largest taxi company is Uber, yet it has no taxis in its fleet. The world's largest provider of rooms for rent is Airbnb, yet they own no real estate. Facebook creates no content, yet they are the largest media company in the world. Get the picture? All of these companies thrive by connection. Connecting customers to the services and/or products that they want is a major part of the way business is conducted today. Even Amazon, the world's largest retailer, has many third-party vendors that use its portal and marketing power in an effort to sell their products. In essence, Amazon (for a fee) connects buyers to these vendors. All of the examples above illustrate how connection marketing works. And they all have ties to social net- working, which has a big hand in the way today's consumer economy works. Why is this relevant, and what does this have to do with the awards and engraving industry? The answer lies in consumer training. What we must recognize is that consumers follow the lead of these com- panies and follow them through various social networking platforms to achieve their ultimate goal of deriving services or acquiring products. We can no longer remain steadfast and assume that our customers that have come to us for years to buy products will con- tinue to do it in the manner that they have over the last decades. Our choice is simple: I was recently watching a television program touting our new "con- nection economy" and being unfamiliar with the term, decided to do a little research. Connective Economics, championed by an en- trepreneur named Seth Godin, refers to creating business by connecting buyers with sellers rather than the old approach that uses tangible assets to create value. Creating Business by Connection

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