Famous Last Words: Two Businesses to Test
Whenever Peggy and I travel to a city or country and have a good time, I pick up a souvenir coffee mug and add it to our collection. Every morning I grab a mug from the cupboard for my morning coffee and, for a moment, contemplate the mug. It enables me to start the day with pleasant memories of Gibraltar, Spain, London, Paris, Prague, Egypt, etc. They are also conversation starters with house guests.
I am sure many thousands of travelers would enjoy collecting authentic mugs from places they have visited—as well as places on their wish lists. In prowling the Web, I found coffee mugs from different countries decorated with national flags. These sites also were selling flags on T-shirts and other gewgaws, but no sales pitch to travelers—actual and armchair—to collect mugs and keep their fond memories alive.
The most efficient business model would be to stock blank white mugs and print up authentic decals (not flags!) from different cities, states and countries. Orders could be fired on demand. The customer would not have to know that each mug did not actually come from the country or city printed on it.
This business model would not work for direct mail with the ever-rising costs of paper, printing, lists, lettershop and, above all, postage.
But long live the Internet.
Go for it!
Denny Hatch is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter. Visit him at www.dennyhatch.com, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.