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Newsletter #867: The “Make It Theirs” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Your products, your marketing, and your brand get much more interesting when you let your customers take ownership in them. A few things smart marketers are doing it with:

1. Soup cans
2. Football teams
3. Twitter accounts
4. Check it out: Self-destructing links

1. Soup cans

It doesn’t get much more generic than tomato soup, but Heinz recently found a way to make theirs special by making it personal. Through Facebook, you could customize the messaging on a can and send it to a friend. For about $2, people were sending personalized soup to friends, posting pictures of them on Twitter, and sharing the campaign with everyone — and all for a product you can find in nearly every grocery store.

The lesson: You can get people excited about even the most everyday of products by making it easy for them to make it theirs.

Learn more: We Are Social

2. Football teams

In a time when some franchises are struggling to stay afloat, the NFL’s Green Bay Packers are thriving. It’s partly due to their on-field success over the past few years, but it’s also a result of giving fans so much ownership in the team. One way they do it is by selling stock. And while the stock itself has no actual resale value, shareholders get a certificate to display, attend annual meetings, have voting rights, and have the chance to meet team executives. This year they raised more than $62 million by selling 250,000 shares. In fact they sold so many, they opted to make an additional 30,000 shares available.

The lesson: While most teams are lobbying for tax dollars, the Packers are showing how it can be done by allowing fans to take real ownership in the team.

Learn more: USA TODAY

3. Twitter accounts

Would you turn your Twitter handle over to fans? What about to an entire country? That’s what Sweden’s tourism bureau is doing with their @Sweden account. Every week, a new citizen takes over control and can tweet about whatever they want. So far, guest tweeters have shared everything from personal stories to jokes about the Pope. There have been a few critics of the project, but it’s also raising a ton of interest in Sweden’s Twitter account and has gotten a whole new crowd thinking about tourism in their country.

The lesson: Your marketing is much stronger when your fans and followers help you do it.

Learn more: The Next Web

4. Check it out: Self-destructing links

Need to send someone a password or a private link but don’t want to have copies of it lingering around? This site helps you create a one-time link that self-destructs after a single use.

Check it out: One Time Secret

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