Amazon, Athleta and Man-Buns

The Art of Keeping it Simple. “Simple is harder than complex.” – Steve Jobs Browsing through a catalog of one of my favorite brands, I found myself completely frustrated, to the point that I eventually threw the catalog aside. Why? Because they made it hard for me to shop. We are in an era where […]

Dear Zulilly

Ah the elections, they do turn a perfectly enjoyable read of the news into something, well, provoking. So there I am, teeth gritted, loins girded, and imagine my delight when, just to the right of the jaw-dropping stupidity I was reading, was an ad for a super cute shirt. Heaven—I could shop and and let […]

“But I like the way it was better.”

Admittedly I’m a bit of a TED Talk junky. The one below by Dan Gilbert has stuck with me over the years. Every time I think about what I’m going to show a client, or present at a conference, any time choice is involved, I think about this talk. It’s about what makes us happy […]

Millennial’s Don’t Exist

A while back, I wrote a post about Tweens, Texting and the Future of Technology. It was all about how we evolve into our parents, and then grandparents, and what that means for marketing to millennials. Adam Conover, from “Adam Ruins Everything” has taken that one step further, and it’s wonderful. Enjoy.   All the […]

A Tale of Two Clients

A tale of two catalogs—Advice for online merchants getting into catalogs. Last year we worked with two pure play e-commerce companies who have turned to cataloging as a prospecting tool. Both rely heavily on vendor art, and both struggle to get vendor supplied sample merchandise on time.  One company waited until the last minute to turnover […]

Research that makes you say, “Oh crap!”

The research stopped me cold. And I seriously thought our team had it right … we didn’t. Let me back up to the beginning. At J. Schmid one of our mantras is that catalogs should DISRUPT, DELIGHT and DRIVE. I’d like to focus on the latter. Catalogs should DRIVE customers or prospects to DO something. […]

3 things catalogers can learn from Donald Trump

Love him, or hate him, Trump has captured the spotlight and is changing politics forever. Many of the tactics he is using can also be harnessed by catalogers to get their customer’s attention. Connect first, sell second Trump didn’t start out as a politician. America knew him first as a gruff real estate mogul who sometimes won, sometimes […]

Disruption and Possibility

The catalog, ad, pop up, or sign that gets customers’s attention while they are doing something else is disruption. Most sales depend on disruption to start the shopping process. Advertising could arguably be considered the art of disruption. The tools you use to disrupt and the tone and timber of the disruption is the first […]

Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

There’s no question that that social media has a big role in the lives of American consumers today. Last year, over 74% of adults regularly used at least one social networking site. Of the top two social networking sites, Facebook gets 900M unique visitors every month followed by Twitter with over 310M monthly visitors. YouTube […]

I can feel your desperation

Dear Lands’ End, It started out well between us. I bought a few things, and yes some went back, but it didn’t mean I was angry or unhappy. I thought we were okay. I thought you were okay. I actually kind of almost liked the new catalog. Sure it was a little long on branding and […]