What did Borders do wrong but Andersons do right?

Winner of the book contest

We will explore the question, but first – the winner of the book contest from Launch – Content Management: The Final Frontier – Social Media Book Contest

The winner? It’s the Carol Stream Public Library (i.e. if no one enters last minute in July).  I don’t know what they will do with it. Will they:

  • Use it in their book collection?
  • Offered to another library?
  • Let the friends of the library sell it?
The cafe at the Barnes & Noble in Hoboken, New...
Image via Wikipedia


Now let’s get back to Borders. There’s an article entitled What Borders Did Wrong at What Borders Did Wrong. Here’s some things the author said:

“They cut expenses to make next quarter look better – they stopped carrying such a wide selection and cut back, a bit at a time, on in-store entertainment and social options. Books were replaced with journals. They ignored the internet for a very long time.”

Cut expenses? They did that at Motorola – where I worked – for years. How many people were cut? 100 K?

Even teen entrepreneurs get what went wrong with Borders at Teen Business Forum.

  • “Not Paying Close Enough Attention to Trends”
  • “Big Executive Turnover”
  • “Out of Touch With Customer’s Needs”

What does Andersons do right?

See article: Story’s not over for independent bookstores Story’s not over for independent bookstores

The manga section at Barnes & Noble at The Sho...
Image via Wikipedia

Andernsons book store in Naperville (Illinois USA) has been around for years. Visit their website at Andersons in Naperville. Just look at their website tabs. What do they have?

  • Staff recommendations
  • Events
  • Ebooks
  • Google ebook petting zoo
  • Tim Green Skype events
  • Bookclubs
  • Kids
  • Educators
  • Gifts
  • Services
  • Bookfairs
  • Local authors

Something for everybody!

What do you do when folks or companies don’t listen to marketing advice?

A shelf of Blink books at a Barnes & Noble in ...
Image via Wikipedia

I have an “acquaintance” who keeps making bad decisions – even after I tried to spend 2 – 3 years giving him marketing advice. Here’s what I shared with him recently:

“Over the past 2 – 3 years, I have made many attempts for you to work with SCORE (SCORE) and the Small Business Development Center (Small Business Development Center ) (i.e. via area community colleges). If you had spent the time to counsel with them and take their low-cost/free training sessions, I’m sure you wouldn’t make bad/impulsive decisions. Something to reflect upon!”

He just doesn’t get it – or he doesn’t listen. I recently took on a writing assistant. What’s the first thing he works on? It’s a business/marketing plan.

If the other guy would have hung around SCORE and the SBDC over the past 2 – 3 years – guess what? The first thing he would do is create a business plan. In the business plan, he would have a section devoted to a marketing plan.

Not he claims he’s broke. Perhaps he is telling the truth – perhaps not.  But whose fault is it, if he doesn’t listen to advice?

Isn’t he really just Borders or Barnes and Noble, in the era of Amazon?


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