1. Business
  2. Marketing

Turning Great Service into a Lasting Memory

Intro by Skip Cohen

Finding this post in Sarah Petty’s archives got me thinking about so many of my own experiences and special memories. We just had good friends, Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis visiting recently and there’s now a framed print of the four of us on the wall in a very special “friends” corner of the house. I can’t help but start laughing when I look at the shot because it takes me back to one of our evenings together.

Well, Sarah raises a terrific point and idea for all of you as photographic artists. What is there you could use to make your relationship with clients more tangible?

Let’s assume every portrait session is an experience when a client is working you – you’re fun, you keep it light, there are lots of laughs – well, with so many novelty items in photography these days what’s out there that would be a kick for you to share? What is there that a consumer would appreciate that would help lock in the memories from their experience working with you?

Remember, your target audience is primarily Mom in the portrait/social categories of professional photography. From doing something special with a photograph of the kids, bride and groom etc. to great packaging, find an item to help you maintain top-of-mind awareness long after the prints are delivered.

Before school this morning, my daughter asked me to put a pink bow in her ponytail. When she handed it to me, it brought back so many memories of this past fall when we went to Chicago to the American Girl Store. As a special treat, we packed up the kids and made a special day of it, shopping, lunch and ear piercing (for the dolls).

When we sat down in the pink restaurant with every detail perfect on the candy striped table, the server told us that the napkin rings were ponytail holders for the girls to KEEP! Oh my gosh. Talk about two excited little girls and an example of fantastic marketing ideas!  So we took them off all of the napkins on the table, stuck them in my purse and forgot about them (somehow they must have made it to the hair accessory drawer).

So now, here we are months later, the rather expensive lunch meal and shopping have been paid for, the memories have faded but there is a lingering memory of our time together in Chicago that won’t be forgotten all because of this ponytail holder.

As I brushed through her snarly hair, all of the fun from that weekend came rushing back. Dinner with friends at the Rain Forest Cafe, shopping at the H&M kid’s department carrying all of our heavy shopping bags down Michigan Avenue and swimming in the glass-walled pool on the 26th floor of the hotel overlooking Chicago. All of this joy was stirred back up because of a silly little ponytail holder. Wow.

If you are in a service industry, what can you do to make those memories last and make that experience tangible? As photographers, what can you do to make the actual session more than just an experience?