American Express

Understanding How Retail Brands Influence Consumers
January 5, 2010

Brands aren't trying to influence a person; they're trying to influence the mind. They take the time to study how the mind functions, makes decisions and how it can be most predictably influenced. Brands aren't trying to meet people's needs. Rather, they're trying to meet their wants. You must understand consumers’ wants in order to influence them to your way of thinking.

Planning 2010: The Game Has Changed
November 1, 2009

For most multichannel retailers, developing marketing plans and budgets for 2010 is a daunting task. After two years of tough economic climates that meant sales reductions and downsizing for many, now’s the time to build a plan for another — perhaps better, yet uncertain — year.

5 Tips on Budgeting for Future Growth in Lean Times
September 2, 2008

For many multichannel merchants, maintaining a profitable business has become increasingly difficult in recent months. While attracting and retaining customers will always be vital to catalogers, today’s economy makes it crucial to have a solid understanding of financial planning and budgeting in order to achieve long-term success. Here are five tips for catalog/multichannel merchants on how to develop and improve budgeting and financing strategies to help weather a down economic climate. 1. Plan not to fail. According to the most recent Small Business Monitor, a semiannual survey of business owners conducted by American Express OPEN, uncertain economic conditions and the rising costs of doing

Brookstone Looks For Stability With Single List Source
September 25, 2007

While speaking last week at the NEMOA conference in Portland, Maine, Steve August, operational vice president of customer marketing for Brookstone, lauded the stability with which his company now can operate. That’s nice, but why? He devoted his session to explaining the Merrimack, N.H.-based housewares and electronics marketer’s “SUPER” marketing approach — SUPER being a self-coined acronym that stands for Brookstone’s new marketing campaign The SUPER campaign encompasses a Stable modeled environment, with a known Universe, Predictable performance, growth Expansion and a Reduction in costs. In its second year, the program was tested for a full year with a single model and a single

Behind the Direct Marketing Hiring Survey: A Few Final Thoughts From Guest Columnist Jerry Bernhart
July 3, 2007

While I’m working on my report on who owns the Abacus data (see last week’s column) I got this response from Jerry Bernhart, the author of the hiring survey that started the thread regarding hiring practices in the catalog business. So without further ado I turn my column over to Jerry, who’s the president of Bernhart Associates Executive Search.
For the past seven years, Bernhart Associates Executive Search has conducted a survey measuring employment trends in the direct marketing industry. In our most recent survey this past April, we added this new question: How would you characterize the overall ease or difficulty you are

Alternative Catalog Formats to Test (1,467 words)
September 1, 1998

by Jack Schmid What do all the following situations have in common? • You're launching a new catalog. • You're spinning off a catalog from an existing product line. • Your catalog design is flat, tired and you're re-thinking the look of the entire book. • You're considering adding an extra mailing to the season and want it to really stand out. Every one of these examples must deal with a common question: What's the size and shape (or format) of the new book going to be? Catalog format is often taken for granted. It is typically established by a previous creative team or