Editor’s Take: Charts, Change and a Little Controversy
One of the reasons any veteran in his or her field is brought in to manage an operation is to inject some fresh ideas, come up with some money-making business initiatives and perhaps even spark a little controversy in the process. As I approach my first anniversary with Catalog Success, I’ve instituted some positive change, some new features and we have some other initiatives that you’ll find out about later in the year.
Wait! Don’t go to sleep! I’m not looking to give myself a happy anniversary pat on the back (yawn!). I’m talking about some of the previous initiatives here that I’ve inherited, namely our Catalog Success 200 chart that dominates this issue. One thing you may notice right away about our fifth-annual ranking of the catalogers with the fastest growing housefiles is that I altered its name slightly, from the “Top 200 Catalogs” to simply, “The Catalog Success 200.”
The name adjustment might not sound like much, but this chart has a controversial history to it, and I’m actually looking to diffuse a little of it. And let’s face it: Catalog Success is hardly a controversial publication. Nevertheless, part of this controversy relates to calling those catalogers in the chart the “top” 200. I always found that misleading. Unlike some of the Fortune, Inc. and Billboard charts, among others, ours wasn’t created solely as a means of ranking companies by how big they are, sales-wise or even profits-wise.
A True Resource
A lot of charts showcase the biggest in their fields, yet those toward the top aren’t always on an upward growth plane. But consistent with our mantra to be your partner, the Catalog Success 200 is a very valuable resource tool for catalogers, because it tracks the fastest growing housefiles. And it's no secret in this business that a cataloger’s housefile is its lifeblood. Renting lists from comparable catalogers or even competitors isn’t appealing when the list’s recent growth has been flat. Renting a list that has grown by, say, 25 to 50 percent over the past year is.