Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Companies

I realized a funny thing today. Something funny about small companies. It probably applies to large companies too.

I came home from work today and as I opened the gate a shiny shipping folder was sitting in the mail box by our entrance. I checked the address and saw that it was addressed to my wife and carried it inside. The packaging looked brilliant and expensive. Kind of a chrome bubble wrap envelope stuff.

I set the package on the counter and later my wife opened it up.

I asked her what it was, and she said something like it was some strange brand of really hard to find baby clothing from France or something like that. From the store "Loveyoubaby".

(But this is what really struck me) Then she said "Every time she puts something on sale, I have to buy something." The operative word there being "she".

It seemed odd to me that my wife identified her shopping as buying something from a person directly in stead of from a company, or a web site, or a business. It seemed so personal, rather than impersonal and this was from a web purchase.

Then I realized that many of Motostrano's customers, "my" customers, probably have the same sort of buying experience.

I hear it from customers, you, often. "I check your site a lot". "I'm on there every day". "Call up Joe".

It's fulfilling and at the same time odd to hear. We, er, I, spend a lot of time building a "brand", a "company", a web site. But it's really a facade in front of just a few people, in front of a person, in between you, the customer. It may as well be Joe's Moto Stuff that's the destination, but I call it and you know it as Motostrano.

I checked out "Loveyoubaby". I first typed in "loveyoubaby.com" and that directed me to a one line web page that simply said "Love You".  Unrelated to the store I was looking for. That, in itself, is one of the coolest things about this company. Imagine, if every time some one recommended your company and when they searched for it on Google they first had to stumble on some other web site entirely that simply said "love you",  and then they had to back track and dig just a little deeper to find the actual store.  Kind of a nice accident.

A little more google magic took me to www.shoploveyoubaby.com and the web store. Cute little site. Cute stuff, baby stuff. googoo gaga stuff. Like a little boutique you'd find on some little side street in some little town selling cute little stuff. Looking a little deeper, it had a lot of signs of a small one person little company, perhaps even run out of a garage or back room for all I knew. But the surface was clean and advanced. Very cool items for sale. Very unique.

Made me think- are we coming to the end of the "big company", the "corporation". We've probably already reach that point and I'm just late to the party, as usual. But has the web turned the corporation on its head so now individuals can be companies and create elaborate brands around just a few people?

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