Everyone knows the value of connections. In fact, entire tech empires have been built around the concept.
But some connections are more powerful than others.
Sociologists talk about the difference in terms of the main function of the social ties we create with each other. Namely, whether they are meant to foster a sense of personal belonging, amplify shared values, or lead to tangible, material benefits.
Now, we’re no experts in sociology (just experts in custom apparel, if you please). So we like to think about it in a more straightforward way: Do our connections strengthen the fabric of our community and networks? Or are they simply a transaction?
Don’t get us wrong – transactional connections are all well and good! What would a business be without transactions?
And – we ask ourselves – what could a business be with more powerful connections?
Well, here’s a look at what we’ve learned as we continue to explore the idea of igniting connections. And some tips for how you can apply it to your business, community, and networks.
Connection starts within your organization
They say a great customer experience is a result of great employee experience.
And by “they” we mean the likes of Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, who says, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” At Candor Threads, we take that to heart.
As the architects of our own company culture, we can lay a foundation of real, shared values. We can build a framework that empowers collaboration and recognizes the interconnected ownership of every final product.
Basically, we’re a tight-knit group that prioritizes having fun and helping out. And you can see the impact of these values in all the resulting and resonating connections we make.
Think of it like the Olympic torch. The globe-spanning relay starts at the historic temple in Olympia where, in the oldest of the old days, the flame was always kept burning. For ancient Greeks, the flame signified the light of human spirit, knowledge, and life. And in the modern Olympic torch relay, the passing of the flame connects people through these universal ideals and across both distance and time.
Without making too much of a business’s core values, we do think they can operate in the same way. If you can connect your team through meaningful, actionable shared values and keep the flame lit, they will be ready and excited to pass it on.
Connection is passed to your clients
When employees feel connected to your organization and have strong connections within it, they invest in building authentic, collaborative relationships with your clients.
For us, these relationships are like partnerships. Because we specialize in unique custom apparel designed from the thread up, we need to really get to know our clients, their needs, and their vision. To truly craft something they love, each project calls for the essential connnection skills of listening, communication, and collaborative creation.
But you don’t have to make a product like ours to leverage and benefit from those skills. Take it from those who have studied the IKEA Effect.
The IKEA Effect refers to the idea that the value of a thing increases when you’ve applied your own labor to create or build it. More value than even an expertly-crafted equivalent. Remember how much you prized that Malm bed frame you built? Labor leads to love.
Now, when you apply that effect to something built through a successful partnership, you amplify it. The labor was more skillful by virtue of collaboration, and the outcome more valuable because it is shared.
Any business can put customer collaboration and feedback front and center. And, it can not only strengthen your connections but also significantly increase the value of what you deliver to your clients.
Connection resonates from your clients to their team and customers
So you’ve completed a successful project or created a valuable product with your client. Does the impact of the connection you’ve cultivated stop there?
Not at all.
We’re a business-to-business solution, but it’s true for direct-to-consumer products and services too. Here’s our experience:
Custom apparel becomes a gift that has meaning, whether it’s for employees or customers. It’s not just a logo, but a significant design on quality clothing that a person will actually use. It says I see you. (And, sometimes, it also says I know you’re into silk bowties. No judgment here.)
Custom apparel brings people together. It’s not a ho-hum group tee or uniform, but a token and reminder of shared experiences. It says I value our relationship. (And, sometimes, it also says I know you want to make Hawaiian shirt Friday happen. *Sigh – then with gusto…* Well ya know what – let’s do it!)
Naturally, we can’t help but see this ripple effect through the lens of what we do. But we are confident you can substitute what you do for “custom apparel” in every instance.
We got into this business to solve a problem and do our part to improve the lives of the folks our business touches. To do that last bit – we’ve found – you have to ignite powerful connections.
Candor Threads is a custom apparel company that has been connecting groups through wearable comradery for over 38 years. If you would like to learn more about our custom apparel options, contact us today!