The Top Ten eWedNewz Stories of 2012

 

By Paul Pannone

2012 was an amazing year for newZ and people of the wedding business. The hard newZ and information that affects the wedding business continues to evolve and move away from the everyday information about ordinary goods and services and looks at what today’s couples think and worry about. The economy plays a growing role and holds down spending for the average consumer while more businesses exist in the shrinking market.

Here are the top ten eWedNewz stories of the past twelve months, beginning in December, 2011.

10- Samantha Goldberg Gives Wedding Wire an Ultimatum

9- Back to Work after a long Weekend; Business owners look to 2013

8- Tie a Yellow Bow Tie and Support a Good Cause

7- NewZ of David’s Bridal Sale grips the Business

6- eWedNewz obtains a List of Pirate Wedding Websites, as Sales Drop

5- BRIDES ANNOUNCES FINDINGS FROM 2011 AMERICAN WEDDING STUDY

4- FLOW Formal Tapped to Manufacture Products for Two Big deals

3- Situation Tuxedos Sold Out, as Demand Keeps rising

2- No Surprise; David’s Bridal on the Auction Block

The number one eWedNewz story of 2012: From Abercrombie to JC Penny the world Adapts to a Changing Consumer

 

 

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More Complaints Against Wedding Wire Despite New Owners

By Paul Pannone

An explosive story that began in December, 2011 continues to leave retailers helpless against a rating system  that does not accurately portray solid businesses that have an occasional bad day. In an ongoing investigation a growing number of businesses say that the promise of a new owner, the Catalyst Group, has not lived up to expectations.

According to rising complaints Wedding Wire has not improved performance for paying advertisers under new ownership.

 

An increasing number of sources reaching out to this newZ source claim that as paying advertisers they’re not getting the value or respect they deserve. Some told eWedNewz as summer wedding couples return from their honeymoons and get settled into their new life they’re going over their wedding day and coming up with reasons to trash their vendors.

Rebecca Smith of A Bride’s Best Friend in Florida complains how a single bad review drags down her score;

“It’s bringing my score down to a 4.9 and I can’t argue or take it down,” she said on Twitter.

Under Wedding Wire’s rating system a perfect score gets shattered forever once a vendor receives less than a perfect score. That’s what set off a war between Wedding Wire and Samantha Goldberg in 2011 that brought the flaws to national attention. Wedding Wire eventually dismissed Goldberg but in an interview this week the fight is far from over, according to the feisty Celebrity event planner.

“I’m gathering more information and statements from unhappy vendors and will have much more to say in the very near future,” according to Goldberg.

Goldberg is getting help from other wedding planners in her fight including Bitchless Bride. The fuschia-wigged, potty-mouthed morph of Lady GaGa talked to eWedNewz recently and gives reasons why the wedding business must rid itself of these types of safe harbors for bitching brides if it wants to heal itself. Bitchless told eWedNewz she has a bead on scams and scam artists that take people’s money and give all vendors and wedding experts a bad name.

“I love that lady; she says what all of us think and would love to say. For people like me that really want to help the bride I hope that I can always communicate and reason with them. With websites like Wedding Wire it’s a rip-cord and incentive not to and just another way for brides to go and rant and really hurt a vendor’s reputation in a momentary fit of rage,” says Rebecca Smith.

 An ongoing poll shows and even split of how wedding websites will become in the future. What do you think?

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The Week of June 18th in Review

 

 

By Paul Pannone

For weeks Leonard Green’s decision to put David’s Bridal on the auction block dominated the newZ and captured the attention of readers, making it again this week’s top story. In a few weeks, the story is in the all-time top ten (number nine) and still rising.

The newZ is not good at Brides magazine, as circulation at the struggling Conde’ Nast publication continues to shrink, despite efforts to revive interest in the bridal resource. A current poll so far shows 57% of respondents feel the publication has slipped too deep to recover. 21% say Brides and all printed wedding magazines are slipping because of their format.

 

On the left one dried-up, old prune. On the right a new phenomena called Bitchless Bride. Both deliver the straight message: get over yourself.

 

A new vigilante way of judge, jury and resolution is being watched by this newZ source. Bitchless Bride could be giving that dried up prune, Judge Judy, a run for the money, as a slow but steady wave of support looks on. This week BB blew a three-week investigation I did in 2010 for another format out of the water by simply announcing if she gets the brides email, she is marketing her bridal products to her– deal with it.  So far 78% side with the Bitchless Bride approach to email marketing.

 

 

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David’s Story passes Martha Stewart dump of Wedding Wire stock and Still Rising

By Paul Pannone

 

Martha move over, here comes David’s Bridal. In less than four days the eWedNewz David’s Bridal story overtook Martha Stewart’s dump of shares in Wedding Wire, that released six-months ago. The story is still rising, as discussions fill chat rooms and members post eWNz coverage to give fellow-members information about what’s happening.

 

 

Martha smiled after her company stock rose 4% after announcing they were getting rid of Wedding Wire.  The story was big newZ in late 2011 but The David’s Bridal story blew past Martha in less than a week.

 

 

eWedNewz story coverage ranks high in internet searches, as brides hear of Leonard Green, owner of David’s Bridal, decision to shop the largest US dress retailer. So far, apart from some tire kickers,  no serious takers are reported.

Privately vendors that who worked with David’s Back in the Day say they were awful to deal with. One vendor said he was constantly chastised, belittled and threatened.

“They always told me they could do it better, faster and cheaper in China. One day, I called their bluff and walked away,” according to one vendor.

Sources say they find it ironic how David’s is under pressure by the Chinese, competing over price and sale of goods over the internet.

“David’s– and all other American Dress manufacturers– taught them how to build factories, make merchandise and how to do business. When the American companies could no longer give them the orders they needed to fill their factories and keep workers employed, they put up websites and went direct to consumers.

Because David’s service is so bad in the stores, there’s no wonder brides would rather take their chances and buy online,” say sources following the coverage.

 

 

 

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The Week of January 23rd in Review

 

 

By Paul Pannone

 

From Abercrombie to JC Penny the world Adapts to a Changing Consumer became the top story of the week and biggest eWedNewz story in history, read by industry professionals and the public.

Part of the changes include celebrities creating and endorsing their own products, leaving traditional forms of manufacturing unable to meet the demand.

Both the wedding industry and couples planning their wedding got some great information about bridal shows. Most brides looking for ideas for their wedding events turn to local, more intimate shows instead of getting herded like cattle at big, national shows.

eWedNewz upgrades our system to meet the growth experienced from stories re-tweeted by celebrities with millions of followers. The spike experienced from this week’s top story crashed the website and left would-be readers that couldn’t gain access  annoyed.

 

 

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2012

Consumers Won’t Buy What They Can’t Find; Tuxedos in Trouble Again

 

By Paul Pannone

 

The New Year is here and the future seems brighter than ever for business owners who took social media seriously the past few years. eWedNewz follows several key portions of marketing affecting the success (or failure) of businesses and finds the best results include the effective use of social media.

Topping the most cost-effective  means includes the proper use of Face Book and Twitter to attract local attention. Experts agree the use of Face Book and Twitter is not a debate or even a question any longer.

According to Denise Wakeman, “No matter how great your product, service or business is, if your prospective customer can’t find you on the web, it’s like you don’t exist.”

In nearly every source the explosive growth of the internet is on its way in toppling all other forms of media in the next five years. Some organizations like Pingdom are ready to draw conclusions on data spanning the past decade saying;

“If anyone ever thought the Internet was something of a fad, those mouths have been permanently silenced during the past decade, and these numbers show why.

We also like how the Internet is becoming more widely distributed across the world. It’s no longer a club dominated by a few top countries.

And you have to admit that it’s interesting looking back and realizing how relatively small the Internet was back in 2000. The 361 million Internet users from back then seem a tiny amount compared to today’s (almost) 2 billion.”

So with the foregone conclusion and growing use of the internet why are some industry’s still resisting its importance?

eWedNewz watches the formal wear business closely and notices the problems they’re having with the new way of marketing online. In fact the formal wear business– minus major players like Men’s Wearhouse, Jim’s formal wear and only a few others– stay stuck in a time when marketing/advertising and promotions came in the form of paper or an occasional radio commercial. But at least in the time we’re talking about– before 2000–  the tuxedo products in stores weren’t 30 years-old– yet.

Of course this isn’t true for all stores. Many are making the changes, adapting to new products, marketing, advertising and promotions. Yet stores are not changing fast enough for consumer that are already years ahead of them. Consumer expectations are not being met by tuxedo stores that are losing ground to larger operators, eating their lunch.

 

The sale of in-store cut-out products originated on the internet, according to Michelle Long of Eye For Design.

 

“We’re seeing a lot of activity and interest in the Situation this season. We’re selling cardboard stand-ups of Mike (the Situation) since you talked about it on Face Book,” according to Michelle Long of Eye 4 Design marketing.

Long told eWedNewz demand for FLOW images, specifically the Situation, has steadily increased since the summer when the the tuxedo manufacturer announced a deal with the television celebrity. The deal with the Situation replaced dollars that normally appeased buyers with pages in magazines that arguably did little or nothing to create demand and traffic to stores in search of products. Long said awareness and sale of all Situation promotional products increased since they appeared on the internet.

Millions of consumer are now aware of Situation tuxedo products because of the online campaign. FLOW numbers alone show over a million views on their Face Book Fan Page and growing everyday. Coupled with the Situation’s 4 million fans on Face Book and another million on Twitter, tuxedos are getting the biggest boost ever.

FLOW estimates there will be greater demand in the coming weeks and months, as the Situation Tweets and directs traffic to stores that carry his products.

Because of the phenomenon eWedNewz had to use a new set of measuring standards for the top ten stories, omitting stories about the Situation. When he tweeted the story or mentioned them on Facebook, the numbers skyrocketed way above normal levels because of the consumer views.

While adjustments for technology continue experts say the formula for success is the same.

“It’s a simple formula; you need to start with a good product. You need to have your product information featured on a website. Then you need to promote your product and your website, shouting from every possible place. That’s where the all the Social Networks come in. If you’re lucky enough to have a deal with a celebrity and can leverage their reach, that can really take the campaign over the top,” according to Wedding Analyst, Christine Boulton.

Boulton and other experts say a proper balance of all forms of media is necessary to reach today’s complicated consumer.

“Consumers are everywhere; to totally omit any form of advertising is simply not good business,” according to Jim Duhe of Bridal Guide Magazine.

Duhe reports good sale of Bridal Guide magazines on the news stands but also agrees with how importance an internet presence and promotions involving advertisers of the magazine are to the overall health of any media business.

While the overall standing for tuxedos improved in 2011 because of the efforts of FLOW, consumers are prone to use stores that carry up-to-date merchandise that promote themselves and give excellent service. Stores that whine, complain and are generally associated with “old” anything are the walking dead– along with anything else not visible on the internet.

 

 

 

 

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2012

Top eWedNewz Stories for 2011

 

By Paul Pannone

 

 

The top ten eWedNewz stories for 2011 are  embedded in the top twenty for the year. We omitted half the stories that involved the Situation because of his ability to tweet a headline and skew the numbers with his millions of followers. Starting from the number ten most read story here is what eWedNewz readers were interested in:

10- Philip Cornier Pushes the Right Men’s Formal Wear Look in Advertising Ex-Bridal Guide employee, Philip Cornier, ventured out on his own this season styling photo shoots, web sites and PR campaigns for new dress companies.

9- Ex-Encore Employee Condones Despicable Act; asks for understanding Ex-employee, Brian Lawrence, asked for understanding for the unexplained shutdown of Encore Studio that screwed vendors and customers who put their faith in the company.

8- Cutbacks and Layoffs Slated at Martha Stewart Readers wanted to know about the downsizing of the most famous turkey stuffer on the planet. Martha made headlines several times in 2011.

7- Vera Wang Project gets Rat Status from Carpenters Vera Wang got the cheese this year for hiring scabs to work on renovations to the company’s headquarters.

6- Priscilla of Boston to Shut Down In a virtual dead heat with the Vera Wang Rat Status story, it was the end of the road for the POB stores. Ironically the addition of Vera Wang products in David’s Bridal stores is credited for the shutdown.

 

 

 

5- Martha Stewart gets Out of the Wedding Website Business in a Nick of Time In a late year story Martha made top news by dumping her shares of Wedding Wire to a company called Catalyst. Sources close to the story told eWedNewz they’ve tried to sell the shares for some time.

4- More Major Wholesalers give FLOW Thumbs Up and Orders FLOW formal stepped up as the tuxedo world’s top supplier, leveraging major brands including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Joseph Abboud. FLOW shocked the conservative tuxedo world with the addition of the Situation, infusing a contemporary name, style innovation and an edgy approach to an otherwise boring business.

3- Celebrity Planner Speaks Out Against Wedding Wire and other Wedding Directory websites Another late-year story posted in the top ten, as Samantha Goldberg revved up her keyboard, ranting and raving against how directory listing websites work. The story continues into 2012.

2- Conde’ Nast Boots Millie Martini Bratten from Brides In an effort to shake up their sagging sales at the news stands, Conde’ Nast ended their long-time relationship with Mille Bratten.

1- Encore Studios Shuts Down 2011 saw the end of several companies; among them was Encore Studios. A seemingly healthy, viable company closed its doors overnight, leaving vendors and brides stranded. The story was boosted by angry consumers looking for information about their pending orders.

 

 

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2012