Miss Lori is loyal to Kodak and Kodak is supportive of her

Do you remember your first piece of substantial SWAG? I’m not talking pens or water bottles, I’m talking a big ticket item. Well, I do, distinctively. I had just joined the blogging World and I attended my very first blogging conference, Blogher in my home city of Chicago. I was lucky enough to get on the list for one of the hottest parties of the conference. At the end of the party guests were given a SWAG bag. Honestly I had never heard of the term before and I was extremely unprepared for its’ physical manifestation. The bag was huge. I mean HUGE. There were so many things inside of it, I was tickled pink. But then …at the bottom of the bag, I saw red. A red Kodak video camera that is. I swear tears came to my eyes. I had been desperately wanting a personal video camera, but didn’t feel comfortable spending the money on myself. (Typical mommy thought.) Getting this camera, something I had been wanting so much, as a gift for me…JUST ME, (not my kids), took my breath away with delight! I was beyond thankful. I showed my appreciation by creating videos. I put that camera to use right away and thus my Miss Lori vlogs were born. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I took that one piece of SWAG and created a whole new outlet for my professional life. I openly paid homage to Kodak for the kickstart too. They in turn have paid homage to me by providing me with newer and better camera’s to do my work. With which I have created content that promotes the art of picture taking and video making. For which Kodak has rewarded me with …well you get the picture.

Kodak and I have a relationship that has blossomed from the seed of that one piece of SWAG so many years ago, and continues to blossom today. Not only am I a believer in the Kodak social media team, I have become a loyal customer of the Kodak brand. I am loyal to them becuse I trust the relationship that we have built online and the products that they produce in real life. They are at the top of my brand list whenever I hit the stores to shop for birthday’s, holiday’s…you name it. Because that is what loyalty is about. I don’t believe that I am loyal because I am rewarded, I am rewarded because I am loyal.

I am a professional. I have a rate sheet and clients who pay me for my services. But not every relationship that I have with a brand is built on a trading of services for fees. Some are just an organic appreciation for each other. I authentically appreciate Kodak, and I beleive that they feel the same way about me. They don’t make demands of me when they send me a product. I in turn don’t belittle their contribution to my arsenal of professional tools. I share my appreciation out loud with my community through authentic, original content. It just makes sense, and best of all it works.

I realize that all of the events, conferences, and parties that liter the social media World have become crowded with SWAG. Just because a brand gives you something you didn’t ask for doesn’t mean you have to write or tweet about it. But if a product does move you, don’t close your eyes to an opportunity to cultivate a relationship with that brand. In turn, Brands, if you have influencers out there who are genuinely and vigorously extolling the virtues of your products on a consistent basis, don’t turn a deaf ear to their efforts, and subsequently to the opportunity to build a relationship of mutual benefit. Be creative. This World of social media has taken off because society wants to get back to basics; word of mouth endorsement and appreciation with brands and businesses that feel like members of the community working on Main street. That happens one relationship at a time, and it’s worth it.

SMILE On!

ML

This is a * Level 1: Some or all of the products or services mentioned were provided to Miss Lori free of charge.

Miss Lori can be found Musing from her Minivan at MissLori.TV , Wearetherealdeal.com , YoungChicagonista , ChicagoMomsBlog , and ChicagoMoms.com. You can also see her Activating to Be Great at Miss Lori’s CAMPUS on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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