Archive for online communities

Metal Ink, “Leader in bringing body art to the mainstream”

Posted in Metal Ink in the news with tags , , on October 30, 2009 by metalinkshop

Always exciting to get press! Metal Ink was featured in an Online Strategies Magazine article about online communities. A big thanks to author Marty M. Fahncke. The section on Metal Ink is posted below. Or you can read the full article here:

Metal Ink
Metal Ink is the world’s first tattoo-inspired, crowd-sourcing, graphic T-shirt company.

Metal Ink is an interesting case study, because the community is, essentially, the product.

The 4,000 (and growing rapidly) members of Metal Ink are not just customers, but community members who also create, promote, purchase and evangelize the products. They are a self-contained community of product developers, marketers and customers.

Community engagement is encouraged through creative submissions, photo contests, cash prizes, product creation and active involvement.

What are some of the benefits of establishing an online community for Metal Ink? Metal Ink is now seen as the leader in bringing body art to the mainstream, product development costs are minimal and the community provides a built-in distribution and customer base.

According to Gloriane Yi, marketing manager for Metal Ink, the most important thing a business should know when thinking about leveraging a community is that members value authenticity. “They instinctively know when something is being artificially manipulated or covered up. For example, you need to be okay with allowing members to say anything they want in the forum–even if it’s negative. In the end, the members are there because they signed up to be part of the community, and to suppress their voices would be detrimental to the end goal of growing the community.”