I read an interesting case study recently on a company involving their customers in their marketing. You’re probably thinking – ‘so what, that’s nothing new’. But I thought this approach was really innovative, and one retailers of all sizes could adapt and use in their own way.

A clothing store based in the UK called TopShop uses everyday patrons in its stores to produce its next catalogue and advertising material. No paid actors or models. No-one famous or necessarily even good looking. Just their customers wearing their clothes however they want to wear them and doing whatever they felt like doing in them.

The idea is that customers come in, pick their outfit, step into the photo booth and take their own photos utilising a special machine that captures the moment with the press of a button. Customers then can download the picture from their website, frame it, and do whatever they like with it. In exchange, the company then uses the photos in catalogues and other promotions.

Imagine the cost savings to be made here! Not to mention the complete involvement in your brand – the customer is immersed in your product and has the photo to prove it. This concept really is the next level of the standard ‘customer testimonial’ – a ‘customer experi-monial’ if you like.

So – my point (it is here somewhere) – involve your customers in your marketing at every possible opportunity. You will save money, time and energy, and – they’ll love you for it!