A Lesson in Serving Your Customers: Flour Sack Dresses During the Depression

I came across this amazing story today, and it brought home to me just how important it is to know your customer and make it your company’s business to meet their needs.

I remember learning in high school about people making clothing out of old flour sacks during the Great Depression, and I knew that some of the flour sacks were printed with patterns. But, I didn’t realize that it was done on purpose.

According to The Fascinating History of Flour Sack Dresses on oldphotoarchive.com, the flour and seed companies found out their sacks were being used to make clothing, so they began to print patterns on the cotton bags. That way, when families purchased their much-needed food, they also received the material to make their clothing. (Or a really adorable stuffed rabbit as shown in one of the photos.)

This is a wonderful example of knowing what your customers need and solving a problem for them. At a time when jobs and money were hard to come by every little bit counted. These companies were already providing a necessary product. They didn’t have to go the extra mile, but they did.

Successful businesses still do this today.

How is your product, service or content solving a problem for your customer or target audience?

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