Oh, Borders. They’re only a few days away from bankruptcy (so says the Wall Street Journal), and I had an experience in one of their stores today that sums up the reason fairly well. It’s not really about the exact statement, more about the history and philosophy that came with it; I walked away and immediately said, “And that’s why this company is falling apart.”
I was standing by the awfully-named “Area-E”, checking out their ebook readers, when an employee approached me and began to pitch the devices. Their Cruz Tablet was broken, but the woman helping me tried very hard to sell me on it. I was playing along until she let loose with a sales pitch that had to have been straight from a badly researched corporate memo:
“It’s like an iPad, but with less apps. So it’s more reader-friendly.”
Possibly the worst sales pitch of all time. Here’s our inferior product, but since there’s either fewer distractions or less stuff to learn, you’ll have an easier time reading on it. So the nice Borders employee called me ADD and stupid. I know it’s not what some marketing executive envisioned when they wrote that pitch, but that’s how it comes across in practice.
Boneheaded, shortsighted, poorly researched and presented; I think that sums up many of Borders flaws in one statement!