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Archive | March 13, 2009

Friday Suggested Reading!

Over the past few days I’ve come across a few things that I think make relevant and useful reading for scrapbook industry business people:

The Introverted Nerd’s Conference Survival Guide – Gina Trapani’s Smarterware: This article contains some great advice for attending conferences like CHA.

What, you say? We’re scrapbookers, not nerds? True, but many of us in this industry – such as designers, and writers like myself – are work-at-home contractors used to doing our work in solitude. We aren’t used to having to have our “business” face on for 12 frantic hours at a time. That can make the most normally outgoing person want to lock themselves in a bathroom stall for some peace and quiet. Gina’s tips about how to get through the social marathon of a conference can help even the most socially adept of us survive a few conference days with our sanity a little more intact.

Pivots for Change – Seth Godin’s Blog: This piece starts out with “When industry norms start to die, people panic.” I think that without a doubt that is where we are at in the scrapbook industry. The old rules, the old way of business, no longer exist, having been torn to shreds by the economy and changing trends. Seth talks about starting points for new ways of changing your business’s thinking about it’s direction, as you build on what assets you have to take into account the new norms.

Hold The Line On Price – Entrepreneur.com: In an excerpt from her new book, Beating the Bailout Blues: How to Stay Sane When the Markets Are Driving You Crazy, Rosalind Resnick talks about why discounting may not be the best tactic to get consumers into your store in difficult economic times. She makes great points about “value” and being viewed as “premium” that are very applicable to scrapbook retailers.

Kodak Targets Soccer Moms; Analysts Say Think Young – Bloomberg.com: OK, aside from the crushing news that apparently “analysts” don’t think us soccer mom types qualify as “young”…this article has a very interesting discussion of the challenges facing Kodak that are similar to the scrapbook industry – namely, that fewer people are printing their photos.

Kodak’s CEO is choosing to focus on soccer moms because they print more photos than other demographics, he says – an interesting tie-in to the perception that most scrapbookers are soccer moms, since those more likely to print photos would probably be more likely to scrapbook them.

Industry analysts think the company should be focusing on the teen boys that are the driving the force of the technology market, getting them hooked on the Kodak name early. They think that Kodak should take its brand value of being known for preserving memories and update it using the latest in technology.

Sound like a familiar dilemma, scrapbook business owners? Traditional business model versus technology?

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Direct Sales Company “I Remember When” Stops Operations

Direct sales company I Remember When was shut down on Monday by its owners Xyron, according to an email sent to consultants by Xyron president Chris Phillips. The announcement blamed the toll of the economy on Xyron for IRW’s shutdown, saying the company “has had to take a hard look at our situation and make some difficult decisions” as a result.

I Remember When sold products by American Crafts, Bazzill, Creative Imaginations, Cosmo Cricket, Die Cuts With A View, Doodlebug Design, Dream Street, Fancy Pants Designs, Fiskars, Glue Dots, Karen Foster, My Minds Eye, Sassafrass Lass, Scenic Route, We R Memory Keepers, Xyron and Zoom Album, among others.

I Remember When was founded as an Oregon scrapbook store by owner Jennifer (Childs) Grant in 1997, and became a direct sales company in 1999. The company was bought by Xyron in July 2005. At the time of the acquisition by Xyron, I Remember When had a corps of more than 500 consultants. Founder Jennifer (Childs) Grant left the company last year to pursue new projects within the industry.

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