3 Axioms of Merchandising

An axiom, or postulate, is a premise or starting point of reasoning. The word comes from the Greek axíōma, “that which is thought worthy or fit” or “that which commends itself as evident.” As used in modern logic, an axiom is simply a premise or starting point for reasoning. There may be many more axioms that can apply to merchandising.  However, […]

Magalogs and Unicorns

As pure play, e-commerce companies look for ways to get new customers, and pay-per-click and display ads get more and more expensive, catalog are starting to look good again. But they are soooo old fashioned, the next generation will, of course, need to reinvent them and turn them into Magalogs. The wonders of the mythical Magalog […]

The Bribe or the Brand?

This holiday season, you’ll see more offers, promotions, teasers … well, more bribes to drive a sale than any other time of the year. With an expected holiday consumer spending more than $619 billion dollars, according to Internet Retailer, brands around the country are scrambling for their piece of the pie. Is the “bribe” necessarily […]

Copy Voice in the Age of SEO

Over the years I have heard the line, “Nobody reads copy anymore.” more times than I can count. Catalogs have cut copy in an effort to appeal to the “new” copy averse customer. Meanwhile on the web, thanks to the new Google algorithm, the BEST way to get ranked highly in search is to have […]

Are Catalogs on a Death March?

Really? Is anyone still asking this question? If you are working in the Omni-channel world I’m sure you almost smirk when hearing this question. It’s no secret catalogs simply work. Has the role of a catalog changed? Absolutely. While it still acts as a transactional tactic it’s role as a brand engagement tool is undeniable. […]

Leveraging the power of the sales receipt?

The guy who invented Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey, is now taking on the sales receipt. (Mitch Joel mentioned that in his last blog post.) After a moment of head scratching I went from “Seriously?” to “Interesting!” Not just because I am still trying to figure out who sent me the book From Paris to Provence […]

Why Made in America Matters to Alex and Ani

Alex and Ani believes that just making money isn’t enough. When Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce spoke at the 2013 Fall directXchange conference he talked about Alex and Ani’s triple bottom line: Economic, Environmental and Social. He attributes their remarkable success (20 million to over 200 million in 4 years) to weaving all three […]

Think Brand Campaign!

For years, the catalog model has worked. We knew who to mail, when to mail, what to mail — and it worked! It was down-right easy to turn a few knobs and create incremental response. And while the traditional model still works, it’s certainly not as formulaic as it once was. In fact, I think […]

Workflow Shakeup: Web First—Catalog Second

Web First: Andy James at the NEMOA Fall 2013 Conference from Catalog University on Vimeo. Direct Marketers have traditionally selected product, photographed it, and written about it with one goal in mind: a printed catalog, with deadlines set to meet print needs. After a catalog prints, copy and photos are pulled from print and are […]

How one company grew sales from $2.2 mil to $80 mil in 3 years

Alex and Ani was founded as a jewelry-making company in 2004, based in Newport, RI. Giovanni Feroce became CEO in 2010, and in the past three years, has helped sales increase from $2.2 million to $80M, with on-line sales going from $200,000 to $30M. A&A now has 50 retail stores and 874 employees. Giovanni calls […]