The Wedding Business Yawns at the Knot Name Change

By Paul Pannone

A Press release announcing a name change for The Knot to the XO Group drew little attention from the wedding business. Save for only a scattered response on various channels, not many wedding experts really gave their detailed thoughts on what it means.

According to David Fuhrer, “This is meaningless. The rationale is that they are transitioning from the NASDAQ to the NYSE; the “XO Group” could be a tic-tac-toe consortium. A generic name feeds into “lifestyle” company opposed to “The Knot” that infers “tying of” and could have meant they’re nautical, but most savvy investors get the “play” on words. The more interesting question is whether the move from NASDAQ to NYSE is a positive or if the NYSE is losing stature.” 

David Fuhrer is the ex-owner of My Complete Event, a wedding web site abandoned in 2010. Fuhrer spoke out against all wedding web sites, saying they are unsustainable as a business but are only valuable as “part of a business”. Fuhrer’s story rocked the wedding web site business, including his ex-associates at My Wedding, raising eyebrows and awareness in the wedding industry. According to Furher’s direct statements, advertising with many wedding listing web sites is a waste of money.

Other remarks included Carla Lowrey saying, ” Some companies just need not to name change. Personally, having a name change doesn’t escape from underlying problems that the company is currently facing with its customers. They need to do External and Internal Customer Satisfaction Surveys and dig deep on the root of the companies issues.”

 

For years Lowery’s sentiments are rampant among wedding industry sources. Some feel the name change at the Knot is a reshuffling of the deck to attract new investors and raise stock price, as the wedding business faces serious challenges and decline in the years ahead. According to wedding sources and investors familiar with the story, confidence in the Knot’s ability to keep up with the declining nature of the wedding business is a concern. Investors that contacted eWNz asked whether they should dump their stake in the Knot, wanting to know the inside story. In the end, each inquiry came up with their own assessment; no one can outperform the market.

The new website details what is taking place saying, “Our flagship brand, The Knot, is the authority on all things weddings, with fresh advice and ideas on the #1 wedding website, TheKnot.com, and in our magazines, books, and television programs. A sister site, WeddingChannel.com, packages stylish planning information with a patented registry search tool — it’s the only place online where wedding guests can search multiple retailers to find and purchase the perfect gift from a couple’s registry. Both brands also deliver what brides need most: extensive listings of local wedding planning services.And we don’t just leave the couple at the altar! After the wedding, our members face a whole new adventure (and discover that wedded bliss includes things like shopping for insurance!). That’s when they turn to our newlywed brand, The Nest, for smart tools, down-to-earth advice, and an avid community that’s focused on everything from picking a good red wine to getting along with in-laws to shopping for a new house.

Our latest addition, The Bump, is all about…well, making babies! Created for first-time parents, this bustling website and local purse-size guide deliver the expert answers, real mom opinions, and local resources needed to survive pregnancy and the first six sleepless months.

To complement our life stage brands, we’ve launched many unique services: e-commerce, which is focused on personalized products for weddings and baby gifts; personal website builders; and local mom social networks. Whatever our audience needs, we either direct them to the solution or develop one for them.”

Wedding expert sources agree, the Knot, is the biggest wedding industry entity, by any name. Many are of the opinion the wedding industry has changed faster than technology, advertising, marketing and wedding vendors have been able to adapt. Discussions surrounding the Knot say they have the financial means to overcome the challenges; many say the “reset” of sorts, is just a faster way of getting some of those challenges behind the company.

Wedding marketer and member of the Wedding Water Cooler Discussion group, Chris Jaeger said today,” Everyone seems to have a love-hate relationship with The Knot. Regardless, I think you have to give them credit, David and Carley especially, for getting that company to where it is today.

Getting listed on the NYSE is no small task and a pretty clear sign, in my mind, of their success. They’ve basically beat down the Goliath (Condé Nast); it’s pretty impressive if you ask me.

I would guess that 98% of the people who whine about their advertising not working at The Knot have lousy, home-grown, websites, self-made brochures from Vista Print, and their nephew designed their company logo. These people shouldn’t blame The Knot, they should look in the mirror and they will see the problem. The CRAP I see online these days is painful to my eyes.”

eWedNewz will keep watch on the progress of the XO Group. What do you think of the name change move?

Feel free to comment here or Paul@ewednewz.com (516) 312-0090 privately.

 

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