In the mass customization and word of mouth dominant era, this might be a very very relevant idea – why not use customers as a distribution channel?
Its a simple 3 step process
1. Create some fantastic, customized product for some opinion leaders, catering to their indivisual tastes.
2. Since you have gone to such great length to make those products according to their personal taste, these opinion leaders turned customers will work as your brand champion. They will proudly flaunt your product to others who dont have your product simply because – they have the product and the others dont (Since its custom made)
3. After the flaunting stage, send some of your products to them and ask them if they would like to sell them to potential new customers. Those customers will be eager to do so for two reasons – they will like to enjoy the power of selling some “Wow” products to people who dont have access to the products to enforce their influence and also because they will like to reinforce their position as opinion leaders of the society.
However, to make this distribution channel work, the product has to be a “glamour” product of some sort and there should be scope for customization.