Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm Not Buying It

Having just posted about the marvels of the iPhone and how it's changed my way of life, I was blown away at a presentation I attended recently given by a successful small business owner who talked about how the iPhone screen is at the core of her business product development.

As the manufacture of modern quilts doing business in the US, Canada and Europe, she discussed how ALL of her designs start small-- very small-- as in on the 2" X 3" screen of her smart phone.  Long story short-- If her quilt looks good on a very small screen... like a cellphone, Instagram or Pinterest-- then they will sell well.  If her quilts lose their impact, color, pattern/design, etc. on the small image size, it's scrapped from her collection.

Kinda makes sense if you think about it.  A gorgeous floral print, for example, may look stunning in a giant quilt, but on the very small screen-- thanks to modern technology-- the pattern is reduced so much it can get lost and, in some cases, can even disappear or muddy the colors meaning the customer might not be getting the quilt fabric/pattern they expected.

Genius, is all I can say because in a million years, I'd have never thought our buying habits (as well as design and marketing products) had changed so much so fast and to such a small-- and very cost effective format.

Then...  I got a look at another successful manufacture who has a very different idea of how people shop... It reminds me of the old Sears catalog approach which, in my opinion, is outdated, ridiculously costly (ultimately to the consumer?) and overkill to say the least.

Not long ago I received FIFTEEN POUNDS of Restoration Hardware catalogs delivered to my door step.  I practically needed a crane to pick them up off my porch.  The package included 14 different catalogs covering their entire product line.  And by the way, they were not promoting a sale.  The impression I got was that I was supposed to keep these catalogs as a reference for future purchases.  (Not.)

Granted, I'm talking about two very different companies and product lines, but the glaring differences between marketing via social media like Instagram and Pinterest versus old school catalogs with expensive photography printed on beautiful paper, then bundled and hand delivered to my front door left me wondering if Restoration Hardware was totally disconnected from today's shoppers-- not to mention the environmental impact of this stack of paper that almost immediately landed in my recycle bin without opening a single page.  Do plush towels, furniture and rugs really sell better using expensive, bulky catalog mailings?

In all honesty, receipt of the Restoration Hardware monster catalogs left me feeling guilty and a little bit miffed that I bought bath towels in their store about three years ago which is why, I'm assuming, I received this expensive collection of catalogs-- Guilty because I'm pretty "green" in our household and call catalog companies asking them to remove me from their mailing list to lighten my carbon footprint.  Dang!  Obviously I missed Restoration Hardware. 

Did my small towel purchase three years ago generate-- and warrant-- my receiving fifteen pounds of catalogs?  No, not in a million years.  My guess is the catalogs ate up their profits in my small purchase.  I'd have rather they shipped me a free towel instead.  That would be positive attention getting marketing.  And I'm guessing the towel would have been far less expensive then the cost to produce and deliver their catalogs.  The towel wouldn't have landed in the recycle bin either-- Just sayin'.

My shopping habits have changed drastically over the past few years and catalogs are long gone.  I turn to the Internet for everything from groceries and books to bathing suits purchases and prefer not to shop in brick and mortar stores if at all possible (Thus the bathing suit shopping online and it's lack of giant three-way mirrors!).  But, thanks to Restoration Hardware, I'm wondering if I might be missing something.  Or not.

What do you think? 

Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Already Four

I have a clear memory of blogging about my first great-niece, E, and how marvelous it was to have a smart phone to receive text messages and photos all through my niece's labor.  The idea of communicating with a woman in the delivery room was shocking and exciting.

In the end, a photo of this little peanut appeared on my blog...

It's hard to believe that in four short years I've grown unable to live without my iPhone and totally acknowledge how pathetic it is to admit that... and truly mean it.

And it's also hard to believe that my first great-niece, E, is now a whopping four years old!  I absolutely can't live without her either. 

For her 4th birthday dinner, as usual, our family held hands to say grace before the meal.  E insisted on saying the blessing and took her job very seriously.  After a moment of thought, she took a deep breath and said...  "Dear God...."

And then she proceed to recite the entire Pledge of Allegiance-- After which, we all said, "Amen."

Happy 4th Birthday E.  Make a wish and wish big!

Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins