The Ultimate Word-of-Mouth Product

Sections of this topic

    Refuge Handicrafts

    Give ‘em Something to Talk About

    I spent ten bucks on a cell phone purse, and it’s a conversation starter every time I wear it. The conversation isn’t only about the purse – it quickly evolves into the story about the organization and the woman who made it.

    I bought it at a local festival with hundreds of booths and some fun, creative handcrafted items. I just stumbled upon this particular booth and was attracted to this particular purse. I liked the colors and since I like to write, I was attracted to the design – pens and prolific authors!

    Take a Look

    Take a close look at the photo. The purse is on the right side, and if you look really closely – you’ll see that it’s made out of a man’s necktie! The pointed flap is the bottom of the tie, and it has a long strap of the same material (which you don’t see in the photo.)

    Now, that’s interesting, and it gets attention. But after we discuss the necktie aspect, the next question is always, “Who made it?” That’s when I get to tell the very compelling story behind it, and it becomes a memorable word-of-mouth marketing piece.

    Refuge Handicrafts

    The people in the photo are involved with a special group of refugees. The woman on the left is actually the very one who made this tie. The group is called “Refuge Handicrafts”, a project of Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc. Their mission is to work with resettled refugee women to help promote self-sufficiency through self-employment. These women actually start their own small business and receive 100% of the money generated!

    They recognize that refugee women face unique barriers to working outside of the home. In order for the women to overcome these challenges, Refuge Handicrafts works with them to develop their many talents and skills. Through financial literacy classes, English language classes, along with business development & management training, they become successful business owners.

    What’s Your Word-of-Mouth Strategy?

    I think this is a brilliant word-of-mouth product, and I keep the tag with the story on it right inside my purse, so that when I get the question, “Who made it?” I can show them how to buy their own.

    If you’d like to purchase any of their products, or just receive more information about their program and services, contact them by email:

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Marketing and Social Media.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:
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    Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. She helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @