Monday, September 10, 2007

I am a consumer...hear me roar!

I've been thinking about marketing.

Specifically, marketing to the scrapbooking consumer.

More specifically, the role of the scrapbook celebrity in marketing to the scrapbooking consumer.

The "scrap celeb" is a bizarre phenomenom to the world of scrapbooking. When I tole painted, I wasn't innundated with "tole celebs..." (well, there IS Donna Dewberry, but never once did I see her at a craft store signing her books while a gaggle of frantic women jocky for best photo position.) And to be honest, Donna probably wouldn't have made a good scrap celeb, anyway. First of all, she's not "hip." She doesn't use words like "uber" or "rawks." She doesn't call tole painting "life art" and she doesn't pretend that tole painting is going to revolutionize your life.

Second, she's, well, not 20. She doesn't have a short, spiky hairstyle or a nose ring. She may not even know how to clone out a blemish in Photoshop to save her life.

Scrapbooking, as a industry, is just...well, wierd. All of a sudden, it should matter WHO does a company's layout just as much as how well it is done. Design teams are filled with "names" (aka people who have won a major contest at some point...or who are very good at calling attention to themselves)..or at the very least, good looking people who at least LOOK good on your message board.

Now I, personally, have never bought a product because Lisa Bearnson used it...or Heidi Swapp made it, or Ali Edwards blogged about it. I HAVE bought products I've heard about online...but only because I thought they'd be something I could use.

I imagine MOST scrappers are the same way. We buy what we like. It doesn't matter if the layout in the ad was created by Debbie Designer or long as it's a good layout. My decision to buy the product is more influenced by seeing designs that inspire me to try the product than by who created the designs.

Something happened recently that made me think that the industry, at least, thinks that we DO care if the design teams are populated with young, attractive people who give good face. And it broke my heart...because a few people that I really like were caught in the crossfire.

If this trend continues...if companies start to market people more than their products, well, I'm not interested. I'm not scrapping pictures of your design team, I'm scrapping pictures of my family. I don't CARE who designs your products or your samples, as long as they are GOOD products or samples.

I don't want to feel manipulated, condescended to or marketed to. I want to feel respected. I want companies to realize that my money (and that of others like me) is what keeps them afloat. I want them to treat me as a capable, thinking adult who doesn't need to be sold friends. I'm perfectly capable of deciding whether or not I like a product or service without some perky, preppy little person pimping it out in their blogs or posts.

There's been speculation that a well known scrapbooker who has disappeared from the industry may have not continued to get work because she didn't fit that perky, young, skinny, hip mold.

If that's indeed true, I'm having none of it. I'm a one-woman boycott of companies that decide your worth as a professional scrapbooker is based more on your marketability than your ability. It's stupid and it makes no sense. When did scrapbooking become SO much about someone else's story? I *thought* it was about my story and the stories of those I choose to scrap about...not about the person who designed my product or who gave me an idea how to use it.

Probably a lot of this rant makes no sense without its proper context, which, unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to share. Just know that decisions are being made on criteria that have nothing to do with talent, dedication, or loyalty.

With that, I'm off to bed. Whether or not it makes sense to you, I, at least, feel a little better.


Shellieh said...

Right there with ya girlfriend!

Stacy Armstrong ~ Come on in, The Studio is Open ~ said...

Did you hear that!! That was me screaming, "AMEN Sistah!! Tell it like it is" I'm a little turned off by the "Image marketing guru" too! But you know.....its a sign of despiration and a strategy that's going to turn around and bite them in the butt 19 different ways. ;)

Fink said...

I am so much in agreement with you! I buy the products based on the fact I like them and that they will work with my family. I don't need to have a big name on them especially with the name comes more cost to me!

I hear ya!

Stampin' Meg said...

"Debbie Designer or Quasimodo"!!!! This is a most excellent rant-I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

Library Bunny said...

Preach it sistha! I think you may have communicated exactly what a bunch of us were thinking.

(I would hope that loyalty mattered, but hey, guess not!)

Stacy Armstrong said...

HEY you busy busy gal! SLOW down....Its time for an update!!
Check out the CX blog ring list when you have 2 seconds!

memawsboy said...

Please roar some more. Amen

I am a scrapper who scraps for my family and friends.

Chris said...

I am so with ya!!! I have gotten very frustrated about things like this, especially recently.....