I’d Give This About a ‘D’ in Marketing

The world is the world, and yes, it’s still going to hell in a handbasket. Why do you ask? But just because let’s talk about something else.

Americans are weird, we’re always ready for the next wave – often leading the way, and we’ve been doing so for a long time. But…

We also spend a lot of time looking over our shoulders and moaning that things were better back some time or another. I do it, you do it, even Aunt Polly does it. Sometimes we all want to go home again.

That’s why we have houses called colonial, Tudor revival, Victorian,  Midcentury Modern, and all those other terms realtors like to throw around. And yep, me too. I love the so-called English Tudors that were built in the early part of the last century, and I love the Midcentury Moderns, that started popping up around 1950 or so and on into the 60s. It was an optimistic time, and everything showed it. While the English were wondering what a fridge was, there were a few people in America who had sise by sides with icemakers. And those ranges with two ovens, one at eye level and the traditional lower one, but what’s this? The burners slide back to make a wider aisle. Well, I never!

There are a lot of people around who are slightly nuts about the fifties, many of them got hooked at Granmas. Not me, though, my mom was the age of their granma’s, I lived it. I chuckled at my sister’s funeral, speaking to a cousin I hadn’t seen since I was a kid, it was commented that the folk’s house had burned down. Well, she had been there, as a kid, probably forty years before but her comment was “That gorgeous house, and that amazing kitchen, gone.” Well, she was right, you don’t often see kitchen cabinets custom built out of heart redwood, with boomerang Formica countertops, nor do you often see a kitchen designed to function (and well) without a stove. That was all dad, both design and execution. I wonder if mom didn’t find it a bit overwhelming.

But there are also things that tie it all together as well. Back in 1936 and Englishman with some claim to be an artist, designed some dishware, and kitchen accouterments that were produced by a pottery mill in West Virginia. And still are, almost without change, Many people (women especially) are enormously enamored of this stuff. Not hard to see why: many very vibrant colors, freezer safe, dishwasher safe, oven safe, microwave safe, even pretty close to kid-proof. I can often remember at peoples houses when I was a kid, that were using this stuff, the various colors were mixed and matched. It may have been chaotic, but it was happy chaos.

Yeah, I’m talking about Fiestaware, and you know, I like it too. But there are actual collectors, of this stuff, from various generations, and they really love it. Obsessive you could call them. (They would probably agree). Anyway, it seems that many of them collect the 5 piece place setting, which is distinguished from the several four-piece settings by having a teacup and saucer instead of a mug.

I wandered off to the website the other day, just because, and it’s really good stuff still, and neither is it cheap, although per use, I’d bet a lot of money it is. Remember all those lessons about the cost per use being the real value? Well, anyway, there was an announcement on the website that they were discontinuing the five-place setting, although they would continue to make all the pieces. It looked to me like pretty close to a scam to generate a bit more revenue. If I were them, I’d do a Gillette real fast and get over it. Page after page of angry comments, with women who have spent thousands of dollars over the years on this stuff, and love it, saying that they’ll quit (well new, maybe) and never buy another. I suspect many of them will get over it, just as a fair number of guys will get over Gillettte’s insults. But many won’t, and they’ll talk loudly how another corporation screwed up their life.

If I were Fiestaware, I think I’d avoid that whole mess trying to pick up a dime here and there. The boxes can’t be that expensive, and most of their customers probably buy mugs as well. It just isn’t a good look. What we used to call “hurting the brand’ and here to little purpose that I can see.

Some company history here: Fiestaware: A Colorful History. And if you’d like to know what a proper business blog is, you could do worse.

And here you can read the comments for yourself.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

16 Responses to I’d Give This About a ‘D’ in Marketing

  1. audremyers says:

    Not MY mom, lol! Good ol’ Anchor Hocking for us. LOL! My new service was obtained at the grocery store, lol – spend x amount of money, get a plate free. Mom was never a brand person and we kids aren’t either. Pyrex the exception, of course.

    Nice break from politics, by the way. Very refreshing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • the unit says:

      Ha! That’s what I remember too. Plates from the grocery store. Forgot the name, guess was the Anchor Hocking. But the melmac came from someplace. Seems like grocery store as well. Could be wrong. None though as a place setting stuff. Just plates.
      I ‘think’ I remember a friend’s family that had this colorful dinnerware. Not sure though and distant memory as to the ’50s nowadays. Do have some very vivid one’s as well.
      Being honest though. That was our everyday stuff, except on Christmas, Easter Sunday, and a few other days. Mom had a china and crystal cabinet with some finer stuff. Forget the names of most of the stuff…Royal Doulton was one.
      Oh, and our drink glasses were jelly glasses that had pop off tops, so that drinking edge was smooth, not screw on grooved. 🙂
      Kinda like NEO whose old home place burned, Mom’s place where I grew, mainly up, washed away in Katrina. Stood on the slab where my bedroom was (in 59-60) in ’05.

      Liked by 2 people

      • audremyers says:

        Oh, Unit! I think I would have wept. So sorry about the loss of the home place.
        Yes; Mom’s china cabinet was joy to behold. When the folks passed, we girls divvied it up and it all has ‘honor of place’ in our homes.

        Melmac. Omg! What a memory you have. My Mom, frugal tho’ she was, sort of stuck her nose up at it, lol.

        Liked by 2 people

    • the unit says:

      And another advantage to Anchor Hocking. An old friend wished they had them. They’d collected fine dinnerware since marriage through wedding gifts and since. Years later when he came home drunk, wife threw it all on the floor, all broken. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      Pretty much the same for us. Mom would buy by brand, until it disappointed her.

      I thought so, as well. I need them sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Scoop says:

    I’m not so sure about the “D” rating of their marketing group. I can’t think of a better way to almost force people to respond to a marketing “poll” and even if they did . . . how accurate would it be? Like the New Coke episode, Coke got more valuable information on their Branding and their product as well as their loyalty. So a lot of valuable information which helps a company decide where they want to position themselves 5 years from now. D may stand for just plain Dumb in this instance or it might be shorthand for Dumb as a Fox.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nicholas says:

    I’ve been very impressed by the American colonial style and by Americans who try to use an interior design aesthetic that fits that design. It’s a classic, and always will be. As an aesthetic it shows restraint, whereas the baroque is in many cases overly ornate. That sort of principle is seen in the rejection of European Catholic design by Anglo-Catholics in favour of medieval features.

    Liked by 3 people

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