McCurry Associates Marketing Idea Exchange Archives
Volume 66 - November 19, 2003
our last issue for 2003 . . . The McCurry Marketing Idea Exchange will not
publish until January of 2004. We
wish you all the best for a profitable, joyous and relaxing Holiday Season.
Prerogative . . . We are deviating from our normal format so that we can
explore two critical issues that have been raised by numerous subscribers.
received some comments including a hand written anonymous letter saying that
this technique was “unethical” because it bad mouthed the competition and
that ethical businesses don’t do that.
we think we’re as ethical as the next guy – I mean have you ever met someone
who says they are unethical? It’s
like someone advertising “We do crappy work” – everyone says they do
quality work and everyone feels they are ethical . . .
subject was rolling around in my head as I was driving toward
a blinding flash of the obvious it hit me . . . Wal-Mart got where they are by
comparing their prices to specialty store prices . . . The next day I was in
Costco and they had a six foot sign comparing their tire prices to the
independent tire store up the road . . . Home Depot opens new stores with
wheelbarrows full of merchandise bought from local retailers identifying how
much more the local home-town store charges than Home Depot does.
in that context, is it “unethical” to post prints made by other
organizations that independent customers felt were substandard? Price is the big
box competitive advantage – they can use it in promotion but specialty stores
can’t objectively compare quality? How is that “ethical” or even honest?
we’re not falling into the trap of Wall Street by justifying theft, graft or
greed by saying everyone is doing it. Rather, we’re raising the following
If local independent labs don’t clearly show shoppers why they should
have their prints made by a quality company, then who will?
(It’s obvious that customers don’t know what true quality is or there
wouldn’t be bad prints available to show!)
If we determine that it’s “unethical” to show actual bad prints
and identify them by lab name then aren’t we condoning and supporting bad
photofinishing? Is hiding the truth “unethical”? Doesn’t bad finishing
Is it OK for the big boxes to beat up independents on price but not OK
for independents to fight back on factual quality issues?
big boxes have the ability to run inserts, TV, radio, etc. hammering on price,
price, price. Small independents
have to use the tools they have to get the message out. . . .
I can’t see why telling the truth is unethical . . . Allen Showalter, the
originator of this idea told me what happened when a chain store manager called
and complained that Allen had put up work from their firm.
Allen’s response was “quit putting out bad work to your customers and
we won’t have anything to put up.” All
Allen heard after that was the dial tone as the manager hung up.
Seems to us Allen is right on!
Lydle suggests that a proper response from a competitor who doesn’t like their
lousy work on display would be, “"you're
perfectly welcome to put up samples from the customers who come to you for
remakes of the bad prints they picked up at my lab. Of course, you wouldn't need
a very big bulletin board for that!”
comments are sincerely appreciated on this topic – please let me hear from you
– Ink jet isn’t the enemy – Bill McCurry
our friends are bemoaning inkjet prints at home . . . claiming that’s the sole
cause of declining photofinishing and the ruin of our industry.
don’t buy it – not for a minute.
is NOT printing at home . . . The
enemy is NOT WANTING PRINTS. If Sam
and Suzy Sixpack print at home and savor those prints, then eventually they’ll
come back to us. If they don’t
make prints, don’t value prints and see all their images on their computer,
phone or LCD screen then we’re doomed.
the bread making craze of a few years ago? Everyone got a bread maker for
Christmas. No bakers went out of
business and most of those bread makers are in the attic.
Fields didn’t know what she was doing when she started selling cookies at
retail because at the time 99.8% of US households had stoves capable of baking
cookies. The local laundry should be
out of business because again 98.5% of US homes have washing machines.
What’s the point? Convenience. Home
printing is a pain and you are the aspirin.
your customers know they can easily get quality prints from their digital
cameras with no hassle from you – they can drop off the media, upload it or do
it themselves in your store – easy, quickly and with superb quality . . .
You’re their solution! Remind them of that every day!
Idea #3 – Bring your team
to PMA . . . Help them grow so they can help you grow. Bill McCurry again.
you expect your team to understand our industry and maximize all the
opportunities if they aren’t exposed to the fun, excitement and yes hard work
of attending PMA? This year’s is
extra special because Harold Lloyd will be delivering Sunday morning’s
session, “Am I the Leader I Need To Be?” – Invest in your team’s growth
potential . . . bring them to PMA for the weekend and let Harold Lloyd help them
reach the next level of effective performance.
Here’s one just for you, as a human being . . . This Holiday Season, as busy as you are – do something for someone less fortunate than you – and don’t tell anyone! May God Richly Bless You And Yours This and Every Year.
Industry Speaking Events with Bill McCurry –
Thursday, November 27 – Fujifilm Professional Workshop –
Wednesday, January 14 – Photoimaging Manufacturers and Distributors
Association (PMDA) – Marriott Marquis – New York, NY – “Working a Trade
Show Booth For Fun and Profit” – a “must hear” if you’re ever called
on to work in a trade show booth and want to maximize your effectiveness.
Wednesday, February 11 –
– Marketing Beyond The Book – (DIMA –
Wednesday, Feb 11 –
– Marketing Idea Exchange (DIMA –
Thursday, February 12 -
Thursday, February 12 -
+ Friday, February 13 – 7:00pm – 9:50pm (PMA – Las Vegas) Night School – “Marketing That Makes You Money” – A concentrated look at your marketing dollars and how to wring more sales from them.