“Joanna’s Favorites” for the summer of 2021 include everything from the Bee’s Wrap Cheese Set to a $70 plywood version of the traditional plastic milk crate. “Chip’s Favorites” are much more masculine – a bluetooth speaker in duck blue and a book called How to Stay Alive in the Woods. The couple who selected these items are Joanna and Chip Gaines of Fixer Upper fame, and their choices are highlighted in their magazine Magnolia Journal. The couple owns a retail store called Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas, in addition to other businesses.

Word of mouth is the best possible advertising for a product, and someone saying that an item is a favorite of theirs is a powerful recommendation. You probably don’t have your own national lifestyle magazine to promote your favorite items in your shop, but there are other ways that you can feature certain products.  We once did a window highlighting a favorite product selected by each staff member. I remember it well, because someone framed a sample of my daily square of dark chocolate as my choice.

Chip and Joanna’s favorites are shown in the magazine on shelves as if they were displayed in their store.  But it is obvious that they have more than the owners’ endorsement in common: there is a clear color story that coordinates the products.  This makes the display pleasing to the eye, while peaking the shopper’s curiosity as to what the seemingly disparate items have in common.

The Magnolia Market website takes advantage of the concept of favorites by bringing up an array of products when a customer searches under this term.  These items have apparently been meta tagged as favorites, because the term isn’t part of the product description. One assumes that the items selected as favorites changes with the seasons and with fashion trends. 

Your shop can use the concept of favorite items in your social media to expose customers to a wide range of best sellers. Consider letting your employees each take a day to feature the items they like best in your Instagram feed or Facebook story, making sure that there isn’t much overlap with what others have posted.

If you’d like to get your customers in the act, ask them to post a photo of their favorite product, tagging your store.  We are looking into doing an Instagram contest based on this concept, and if it works I’ll write about it in a future blog.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder