Crane: Two Steps Backward and One Step Forward
To use a Superbowl metaphor, Crane & Co. fumbled the ball in their own backfield earlier this year with a drastically downsized line of products that simply did not sit well with their distributors. Since selling stationery is not a game of football, it is difficult to know the extent of damage that has been caused to the Crane brand.
Fortunately, I am delighted to report that Crane announced yesterday that they will be “enhancing our business stationery offerings . . . and reintroducing the 32# size 8 Executive and size 7 Monarch sheets and matching envelopes in Ecruwhite and Pearl White.” Even Manti Te’o was mystified as to why they dropped these popular business lines in the first place.
Hopefully, Crane’s new management team will be able to pick up the pieces of a seriously flawed strategy that could only have been concocted in the lab of a consulting firm by MBAs with little real-world experience in the industry.
The clock is ticking, so we do hope that Crane will act decisively and scrap the “back to basics” tagline: It’s just plain silly!
Richard W. May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild
P.S.: Just a simple suggestion to help “right the ship”: Increase the price of most of your boxed products by 10% to 20%. Crane products are seriously under-priced. Your brand deserves premium pricing. But please, get back to focusing on quality.