Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Doctor is IN

ShopNBC hired some fancy-schmancy consulting firm-- Segel Associates—to help them figure out why they stink and can’t manage to ever make a profit. In addition to their sage advice, Segel also has their own products that will be launching on ShopNBC. Stuff like the Deep Cover Nail System and the Flavor Magic Gourmet Seasoning Sheets by Real Chef.

Are they serious? Do they really think that this is going to save them? No wonder they can’t make any money!

So, for the umpteenth millionth time I’m going to explain to those overpaid dimwits what they need to do:

1) Brand Identity. No, not of ShopNBC, but of what ShopNBC sells. I have a hard time coming up with very many product lines. Look at QVC and HSN … go on … you can do it … they make lots of … oh, what’s that word … right, money! Both companies have tons of recognizable brands that get customers excited. You know what? I recently went to Sephora, but I didn’t buy anything. You know why? Because I know that I can probably get a better deal on whatever I want at either QVC or HSN.

2) Sales Pitch. Please, please please stop acting like you are selling me a rusted-out used car that you slapped a new coat of paint on. The soft sell works. It might take a little longer, but your sales will be more consistent and your returns will be fewer. Also, make your hosts memorable and human. Other than Charla (love her!), they’re all robo-hosts. Look at the big uproar over Dave King and Kelly Repassy leaving. Customers were upset because they had a vested interest in the hosts. Would you buy from a robo-host or a host that you like?

3) Price Point. Yes, I know that ShopNBC is the luxury shopping channel. The problem is that you can’t live on caviar alone. Get a better mix of lower priced items. Home shopping customers are looking for more bang for their buck, but—especially in today’s economy—the bucks are limited.

4) Target Audience. You would think that most home shopping customers were men by the way ShopNBC was always pushing things like electronics. It’s not that women don’t like electronics. They do. Women are just much more practical about them. They just want it to do what it’s supposed to do simply and not break. Men want it to be the latest and greatest with the most flashy buttons and features (admittedly, women are a little like this with makeup). Men might buy from you once because you have on the biggest, baddest HDTV ever made, but they won’t come back and buy from you again. Men are just fickle like that. Love ‘em and leave ‘em.

5) Community. Where’s your message boards? Do you have a blog? Do your vendors or hosts have blogs? Newsletters, maybe? There are only a scant few product lines on ShopNBC that have a cult following (Isomers and Offerings are two I can think of). Where do these loyal followers meet to chat it up? The QVC message boards, of course!

There’s plenty more that ShopNBC could do to dust off their image and maybe turn a profit, but I don’t get paid enough to tell them. The doctor is OUT.

1 comment:

  1. This was brilliant (and free!) advice that they totally ignored. How much would it have cost them to rig up a message board? I've purchased many an item from HSN after reading customer recommendations on the jewelry and fashion boards. They should really heed your words now, with the re-branding to come. What cha bet they royally screw it up?


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