Chicago-based Foiled Cupcakes wants their customers to be their friends because they know that it is easier to do business with people you know. Foiled has two target customer markets. The first is composed of professional services companies such as technology companies, law firms, accounting firms, and insurance agencies. Because customer retention is critical for these companies, many firms send cupcakes as a thank you to their clients. The second market for Foiled is bridal/wedding events. They take a personal and friendly approach in both markets, where relationships trump sales every day.
Foiled’s model is to operate as an online business with no physical storefront. When Mari Luangrath started the company in 2008, she experienced some delays getting her website launched, which meant a delay in selling cupcakes. Someone suggested to Mari that she create an account on Twitter while she was waiting.
She took the approach that she would simply start having conversations with people in her local area and see what happened. Mari didn’t start conversations on Twitter talking about cupcakes; she started talking about things that she was interested in, including shoes. Soon she established a rapport with her followers, who wanted to buy cupcakes from her. After several weeks, the website was ready and orders were flooding in. Mari had created an experience through her online networking before her business’s virtual doors even opened.