Some Rebranding Ideas of a Different Sort
Ordinarily, I try not to get terribly personal in this space. What we do here — put out a B-to-B magazine, a weekly e-newsletter and an informational Web site, rather than a catalog, sales-oriented e-mail or e-commerce Web site — isn’t a whole lot like what you do. We do share a common bond, of course: the catalog/multichannel business is our daily focus.
This month, however, I did find a common bond in our daily regimen and thought I’d share a recent rebranding experience we had. As always, I hope you’ll gain some ideas you can apply to your own business.
Late last year, we decided our weekly tips e-newsletter, Idea Factory, needed to be redesigned, renamed and rebranded. This was partly because we needed a catchier title, partly because our parent company, North American Publishing Co., scheduled a redesign of all its e-newsletters and partly because we weren’t terribly crazy about this newsletter being referred to as a “factory.” And naturally, our powers-that-be must constantly seek ways to attract more advertising to grow the franchise.
We all know the many ways catalogers and others name and brand their properties, whether they’re catalog titles, newsletter or magazine names, product names, or others. Many use founders’ names (Dell, L.L. Bean), some combine founder names with the locations in which they were founded (Williams-Sonoma, Lillian Vernon), and others have more functional titles (PC Connection, Restoration Hardware).
‘Catalog Success … Something or Other’
Retaining Catalog Success as a part of the title was a no-brainer for us. That left us with, “Catalog Success … something or other.” But the second half came along fairly easily. We stuck with the functional motif, and wound up with the title that best describes what our e-newsletter is all about: Catalog Success: Tactics & Tips.
We toyed with some fancier titles, but when you think of all those e-mails that show up in your inbox every day, it’s much like the catalogs and assorted advertising mail you get. Each piece of mail — electronic or snail — has a nanosecond to catch the readers’ eyes before they decide to read it, delete it, or put it aside to consider reading later.
Since our franchise has flourished as a well of tips, tactics and advice helping catalogers and multichannel merchants make more money, we felt this combination of our franchise name with the key descriptive words of what you’ve come to like about and expect from us would keep our newsletter in your inboxes and “must-read” folders — and out of your trash folders or recycle bins.
Our first edition went out on Wednesday, Jan. 9; it was actually a full day late, as we labored over some technical snafus. The following week, we reverted to our usual midday Tuesday e-blast time.
Per our online tracking services, both Tactics & Tips and our year-old Corner View e-newsletters continue to be highly read, and our clickthrough rates are excellent. (The Corner View got a light makeover; no name change.) But one can always do better, so we’ll see how our rebranded weekly fares. Heck, it could
bomb (though I doubt that). And if you don’t receive either of our newsletters, just go to our CatalogSuccess.com homepage, click on the black bar on top that says “free e-newsletters,” then fill out the very short form.
Although we don’t use the word “exchange” in the new title, please use both newsletters, as well as our Web site and, of course, this magazine, as an idea-exchange marketplace for you and your peers in the business. All of our online articles have simple “submit a comment” links, making it easy for you to share ideas with other catalogers as well as us. Like the form, it’s quick and simple to use, so please let’s hear from you.
I’d like to formally introduce two recent additions to the Catalog Success and Target Marketing Group editorial family. Thorin McGee (215-238-5303, email@example.com) joined us last October as production/online editor. He was most recently senior editor of the consumer magazine InQuest Gamer in Congers, N.Y. And Joe Boland (215-238-5099, firstname.lastname@example.org) came on board in January as our new copy editor. He was most recently a sportswriter and editor with Montgomery Newspapers in Fort Washington, Pa.
Feel free to contact Thorin or Joe on production- and copy-related matters at any time. They both also work on our division’s other publications, newsletters and Web sites, including Target Marketing, eM&C, Fundraising Success, Inside Direct Mail and Book Business.