The Stationers Guild

Crane: Dumb and Dumber

You have to sit back and scratch your head and wonder what the folks in Dalton (or is it really NYC?) are drinking.  In a series of  initiatives that began last December  to “re-brand” the Crane line, outside consultants (who probably can’t even spell stationery) and Crane’s new iPad management team seem intent on bringing one of the most prestigious paper brands in the world to its knees.

Crane’s competitors must be rejoicing, but there is certainly no joy in Mudville as dealers throughout the United States struggle to pick up the pieces as loyal Crane clients can no longer get the same stationery that they have been using for years.  Indeed, “mighty CRANE has struck out!”

The latest bombshell is from Katie Lacey, President of Crane Stationery, who announced that Crane will be launching a retail relationship with Paperless Post.

“This week we will be launching a retail relationship with Paperless Post, who will be selling on their website a limited selection of their own custom designs that Crane will print. As part of our plan to celebrate and build demand for the high quality, printed stationery and invitations that we provide, this partnership enables us to introduce our products to a new audience.”

Quite obviously, Katie doesn’t sit around and read my silly “thought-pieces” on Paperless Post, but doesn’t it strike one as bizarre that Crane would trash its bricks and mortar retailers (and their clients) who have been loyal to the Crane brand for decades “to introduce our (sic Crane) products to a new audience?”   Call me dumb, but this has to rank as one of the silliest new marketing initiatives in recent memory.

Note to Crane:  There is no NEW audience – it’s the same audience using different vehicles to communicate or express themselves.  Crane is simply giving 200 years of BRAND loyalty to an online marketing platform.  This is a great deal for Paperless Post, but a silly one for Crane.    Why doesn’t Crane hire some programmers in the Philippines to build a clone Paperless Post app under the Crane logo?

It is clearly evident that Crane is a rudderless ship that has lost its way in a big sea of digital nonsense.  If Crane’s management doesn’t value the Crane brand anymore than partnering with Paperless Post, why should its dealers?

Richard W. May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

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One Response to “Crane: Dumb and Dumber”

  1. sally seitz Says:

    I could not agree more!! When a large retailer,(particularly in S.Florida) who went under,but reorganizedI spoke to a long time retailer in Palm Beach. He was approached by Cranes to finish the invitation orders THAT WERE LEFT HANGING!! Cranes should have personnel to finish and ship those orders. The retailer I spoke to,a Major Cranes dealer for years,with a good clientele,just move away-out of the country. I’ve been in business for over 26 years-even I can’t believe it,and I was a Cranes dealer -through one of their reps. I no long do that. I’ve moved away,working with a more current vendor. Times are tough for all retailers working with high end invitations. Cranes has left us hanging again.

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