Book-club concept still going strong
In its over 40 years, the Suuri Suomalainen Kirjakerho (the great Finnish book club, SSKK) has delivered 60 million books to Finnish homes. The Otavamedia-owned book club is a multichannel service concept. Alongside the book club aimed at eight different target groups, there are five book stores and an Internet service, where people carry out membership transactions and buy books. For business clients, the SSKK club concept also comprises a "Libricard" gift certificate service.
Finns are still a reading nation. That is why this business model based on the appeal of the book and close customer relationships has not lost its potency, even amid the current revolution in the media world. Right from the start, the book club's aim has been to find successful Finnish and foreign books, and from them to select a range that interests customers.
The book club listens carefully to changes in customers' likes and dislikes, and the service concept is developed in line with their wishes. Members increasingly want to give their own opinions and to recommend books to others, too. The digital revolution is also reflected in the book business. Electronic reading devices are now coming onto the market, and the book club is making even more intensive use of electronic channels for marketing books. But the backbone of the service is still the club magazine posted to members 16 times a year, which presents and recommends interesting books. The magazine, printed by Hansaprint, can be profiled and personalized, for example, according to recipients' interests or where they live.