In a post on BitRebels.com, Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) refers to Alyssa Milano as a role model for other celebrities “trying” to use Twitter. Sure, there are some great celebs using the social networking platform to build their brand but with Alyssa Milano, it’s different. Milano is a celebrity who is thoughtful, supportive of others, and down to earth. She actually wants to ENGAGE with her fan base (which not surprisingly grows everyday).
I’ll admit that I was never really a huge “fan” of Alyssa Milano. To tell the truth, I only knew three things about her.
- She was the cute girl on “Who’s The Boss”. (or is it “She IS the cute girl who WAS on “Who’s The Boss”?)
- She loves Major League Baseball and the N.L. West Champion LA Dodgers. She even keeps a blog on MLB.com
- She’s involved with Touch, a sports clothing line designed for women
And it is with the 3rd fact that led me to write this article and publish it on a blog that offers marketing advice to small business owners. Yes, as a small business owner you could (and should) follow @alyssa_milano on Twitter to get a good idea of how you can use social networking to engage with your customers and build brand identity. However, there is an even bigger, more fundamental lesson you can learn from her.
Alyssa Milano and her clothing line “Touch”
In May, my wife started looking for a “cute” Tampa Bay Rays outfit. As we were searched online, we came across Alyssa’s “Touch” line of clothing. I was somewhat aware of the fact that Alyssa was involved in clothing line but I always assumed she was just a celebrity spokesperson. I had no idea she was the founder and brains behind the operation.
According to Milano, the origin of Touch is rooted in finding customer’s need and fulfilling them.
I was sitting in Dodger Stadium on a chilly night in 2006 and a bit underdressed for the game. So, I decided to go to the Dodger Team Store and buy something to warm me up. When I stepped into the store and started to look around I realized that there was really nothing cool and fashionable for me to wear.
I looked around the store at the other female shoppers. Then I walked outside the store and starting looking around the stands at the other ladies in attendance. And that’s when I noticed that there were not many women wearing stylish clothing with the Dodgers logo on it.
Can you say “LIGHT BULB”?!?!
If I was looking for something like this, there MUST be other women looking for the same thing.
Although Milano created Touch out of “personal necessity”, she quickly realized other female sporting fans were facing the same problem. The concept of listening to, and in this case observing, customer needs seems simple enough but the reality is most business do not make time for it. However, if you want to grow your business, it is necessary for you to identify the needs of your customers and prospects and quickly take action before your competitors. We touched (no pun intended) on the subject of using Social Networking sites to listen to customer needs in our article “Stealing Your Customers Should Not Be This Easy”.
UPDATE: Look for Alyssa Milano to star in an upcoming sitcom “Romantically Challenged” which will air on ABC.
UPDATE: Alyssa Milano demonstrates her use of Twitter on the Jimmy Kimmel show.