Lillian Vernon & Sharper Image’s Woes

In my article for Conversation Agent, I argued that the increase of technology would make it harder and harder for retailers to succeed in a competitive economy.  Consumers would have more access to information about prices and thus drive margins way down.  The new retailer has to be creative and unique while driving home the user experience.  This was no more evident than the recent woes that have plagued cataloger Lillian Vernon and Sharper Image.

Especially now, with our economy in question & rising manufacturing prices abroad, branding and defining who you are and who your customer is becomes ever so important.  Kelly Mooney’s Open Brand certainly comes to mind as consumers flock towards brands that are transparent and deliver remarkable experiences.

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5 thoughts on “Lillian Vernon & Sharper Image’s Woes

  1. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Jason Rakowski

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  2. Being on the up and up is going to be more important moving forward. Even for those of us in the marketing profession who talk about conversation. It’s easy to get caught in using the right phraseology without backing it up with behavior.

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  3. @ Jason: Thanks for stopping by and good meeting you.

    @ Valeria: You are absolutely right. We as consumers can come across information faster than ever and the speed is not slowing down. Being open and honest will be more important than ever. Brands need to embrace this and enable conversations.

    Also, when a company makes a mistake in our new world, everyone will find out about it. The way the company reacts and responds means everything.

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