Are You Surrounding Your Market?
Last October, my wife, Peggy, and I invited our good friends Paul Goldberg and Joseph Dipper to lunch in Chicago, where we were all attending the DMA Conference. The hotel concierge recommended NoMI on the seventh floor of the Chicago Park Hyatt. Our table by the big window overlooked the iconic Chicago Water Tower, constructed in 1869 of Joliet (Illinois) limestone blocks and one of the few survivors of the 1871 Great Fire.
Everything about the restaurant was world-class—the décor, service, food, wine and vodka (Grey Goose). Dining doesn’t get any better than that, and I would recommend it to anybody who has plenty of money or a fat expense account.
The next table was set for three. Lunching there were a most stylish young suburban matron, her equally stylish daughter—age about 9—and the daughter’s doll, which was continually being fussed over by both. The three of them were having a grand time together.
As they were leaving, I asked the lady if the doll was from American Girl.
“Oh, yes,” was the reply. “We have a 2 o’clock appointment at American Girl Place to do some shopping for clothes and accessories.”
The idea that Mattel signed the prestigious Creative Artists Agency to extend its toy brands—presumably to create games, DVDs, films, Internet action and TV specials for Barbie and the Fisher-Price line—is fascinating. Most intriguing is what they might do for American Girl.
My bet is nothing.
American Girl has already done it.
Sometime in the late 1970s, I submitted a fanciful article to Folio: The Magazine of Magazine Management on the subject of direct mail. To my surprise, it was accepted, and the editor, Chuck Tannen, invited me to lunch at a restaurant near his offices in New Canaan, Conn., just up the pike from my house in Stamford.