June 1, 2017

An Allegory

Happy June!

To get back to blogging more often, I'm beginning this new month with an allegory. Or maybe a hypothetical analogy.



                                             Now → 

Those two storefront banners ↑↑↑ don't look so very different, do they?
Maybe not at first glance, or even on closer inspection, but there is an
enormous difference in the Rough Magic Creations shops they symbolize. 

Here's why ....

Just yesterday I said to Joe, my husband and business partner: "Let's pretend we own a small retail shop and rent our space from the owner of the large Metaphorical Mall. Let's call him The Landlord.

"Knowing how easy it is to get lost in the crowd of shops, we work extra hard to arrange our showroom window in a way that will catch the eye of the buyers strolling by, bring them in to browse, and perhaps make a purchase or two and become regular customers for us.

Our window arrangement
"We're proud of our shop, and we're beginning to establish our brand.  So far, we aren't making a fortune, but we're able to pay the rent and keep a bit of profit for ourselves. We have high hopes for the future here in this thriving and growing mall.

"Then one morning, we arrive to open our shop and find that The Landlord has changed the lock. 'Don't worry,' he says as he shoves a new key at us, one designed to 'improve the seller experience' for all shops.

"It takes us a while to figure out how to use this new and improved key, so we have less time to get our own work done, but we manage to get into our shop - only to discover that, while we were sleeping, The Landlord has come in uninvited and rearranged our items and displays for us. 

↑  The Landlord's arrangement  ↑

"Not that there's anything particularly wrong with his arrangement, and you may say it looks just fine. Except that it doesn't show the items we currently want shoppers to see first. 
"To be fair, The Landlord still allows us the option of showing our own custom arrangement. How long his generosity will last, we have no way of knowing.
"But there's something more ..........

"The Landlord has now placed so-called 'similar items' from our competitors' shops in our own showroom window, and on all our print and TV ads, as well on all our posters and billboards, and has plastered the Metaphorical Mall's garish branding color throughout our shop and elsewhere.
"Like this → RoughMagicCreations  👀
**"To no one's astonishment (except perhaps The Landlord's), we tenants take a dim view of this intrusiveness. And we say so, loud and clear. 

"When we confront The Landlord, he explains that, while he does 'understand our concerns,' other shops' items will remain in our window and wherever else he decides to put them, and our items 'may be' similarly displayed in our competitors' territory - at his sole discretion, of course. The idea is that this tactic will 'improve the buyer experience' and bring more shoppers to the Metaphorical Mall. (And to himself he says: 'And improve my chances of [fill in the blank] ________ ).' 
"Now, we tenants are a pretty savvy bunch, and we aren't so easily placated. We continue to howl.
"Saying 'to be fair' is getting tiresome, so I'll switch to 'to be honest.' Because of the noise we tenants are making,
for the moment at least, The Landlord has backed off. How long that moment will last is anybody's guess. 
"To mix my metaphors for a moment: 'A rising tide may lift all boats,' but not when The Harbormaster (a.k.a. Landlord) continues to punch holes in the bottom of our little dinghy (so to speak).

"What shall we do?"
Joe says:  "This is what we will do. We'll move right back to Main Street, where we first started out, lease a brick and mortar shop from a reliable Landlord (with a binding contract with terms to our liking) and get our items out of that Mall as fast as we can. Starting now!"
And what does The Landlord of the Mall say to that? 

"Yeah and Hooray!
Another nuisance out of my way.
How many small boats shall I scuttle today?"
If ever we decide to visit the Metaphorical Mall again, I don't doubt that the little space we once called our shop will be jam packed with cheap, poor quality, mass produced imports. But the Mall will be all hustling and bustling with shoppers hunting for bargains, and the landlord will be laughing all the way to the bank. $$$$$$
Meanwhile, you'll find us on Metaphorical Main Street.
Our new address is RoughMagicCreation.com

Come on in. Explore. The coffee pot's always on! 

©2017 Rough Magic Creations

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