A Chat With January's Profile, Brendan Edgerton, vice president of direct marketing, Crutchfield Co. (Text & Audio)
CS: What's the best thing for you about working at Crutchfield?
BE: A company with still a healthy entrepreneurial spirit, good leadership, big enough to be established and credible and have the appropriate credentialing with our vendors, but small enough to be nimble and not reliant on large corporate boards or corporate debt in these tough economic times. Probably one of the things that I think is most unique about Crutchfield is that commitment to service both before the sale, during the sales cycle and after a customer has the product and is using it and enjoying it. I have not seen the commitment to supporting folks as they're making that decision in the consultative presales period to all the way through the use and enjoyment of the product anywhere else that's as evolved as it is here. Certainly a fallout from our core principles that are really focusing on customers’ expectations and delivering a very high level of courtesy, service and information to them.
CS: What's your personal approach to helping Crutchfield separate itself from its competitors?
BE: Strangely, some of it is maintaining a focus on the basics and the things that got us here. As much as it is an exciting time to go out and try new methods of acquiring customers, new methods of executing a sale, there are so many core components of doing good direct marketing, from acquiring the names and addresses appropriately, integrating your customer information across your channels, applying learning from things like Web analytics and other third-party tools that you can bring in to truly bring customer knowledge to the forefront of your marketing activities. I'm not pretending that we have the corner on the market on that at Crutchfield, but I think that reminding yourself that it's a customer game — the knowledge about the customer and the integration of that knowledge across the organization, whether it's your sales floor, your Web site, the catalog presentation, is just key. There are so many people who jump in thinking that, and then move towards either a product focus or a pricing model or some other method of conversion, and they kind of forget about the customer along the way. I try to keep that front and foremost in what we do here.