My Friend Introduced Me to the Hobby

Each Wednesday, I write a post that is from my dissertation.

Thus far, I have discussed how scrapbooking norms are influenced by the scrapbooking industry, but the reality is that most of my respondents rarely learn about scrapbooking purely from industry workers or avenues controlled by industry workers (e.g., scrapbooking-related television or magazines).
Most scrapbookers learn about scrapbooking initially from a family member or a friend. This means that the scrapbooking industry must utilize these relationships to gain new scrapbookers and to sell to existing scrapbookers. There are several direct selling scrapbooking companies. They have had their ups and downs but they still exist. They work because they take advantage of these relationships. Brick and mortar stores should also strategize to take advantage of these relationships. Share a discount with a current customer if they bring in a friend who also makes a purchase (and give them a discount, too). Create a class that is geared towards a current customer bringing in a friend (again, offer a discount). As a business owner, you want to not only satisfy your current customers, but bring in new customers, too. And possibly most importantly, get on the social network sites.
Other scrapbookers are a source of norms beyond just introducing the hobby to others. Other scrapbookers provide feedback and ideas directly and indirectly (e.g., sharing a scrapbook with a new technique may cause the other scrapbooker to then want to try that technique). All in all, other scrapbookers are an important source of scrapbooking norms. They may be the most important source of scrapbook norms because they rarely have a commercial motive (unless they are hosting a direct selling party where they earn free product in the process or get a store discount for bringing in a friend). Even in those cases where there is a commercial motive, the financial incentive is rather small. The moral of the story is that if you are in the scrapbooking business and are not already utilizing the relationships consumers already have to gain new customers, then you need to start strategizing. Also, be careful not to exploit these relationships in the process. The risk to your reputation is simply too great.
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