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Decorated Apparel Strategy and Twinkies

Twinkie PresentsThe office is filling up with holiday treats sent to EDC by suppliers and customers alike. Someone sent us Twinkies this year, a really timely idea. I have fond memories of Twinkies from my childhood, but I haven’t eaten a Twinkie in over 30 years. With the bankruptcy filing from Hostess Brand many people have rekindled nostalgia for Twinkies. So I grabbed two of those Twinkies and shared with my son. They were awful. I mean truly bad. What happened?

I think the world has changed and the Twinkie didn’t change with it. There has been a revolution in the quality of food in the marketplace. From vastly superior frozen food at the grocery store to Food Network and the “foodies” movement, with gourmet cupcakes and $3.00 Macaroons, the public palate is more sophisticated. Twinkies just don’t measure up any longer. There are so many substitutes, so many other choices that taste better.

Somehow the Twinkie just doesn’t matter to people. It didn’t happen fast, but it definitely happened. Even if another company buys the brand, the Twinkie has to change otherwise there is no hope of selling bad product in this highly competitive world. This is a strategic issue. If sales are flat or falling then the question has to become, “Do we matter? Are we different?” 

Well we have been asking that question of Executive Data Control over the last ten years. After the recession our sales fell 30% and were absolutely flat for two years. As part of our on going strategic planning process, we have been trying different products and services to stay relevant and grow sales. Fortunately we have found a solution by expanding our product lines to include decorated apparel and promotional products. A part of this strategy is our decision to find growth through acquiring or merging with other companies.

Last year we acquired the Embroidery House and that went very well. We have added a high quality shop with some really talented people and we have met some great new customers. Sales have grown over 20% since 2010, so our strategic plan is working and we are going to keep moving forward.

In fact we have a strategic merger to announce on January 7th. We are going to be very busy over the next three weeks as we set-up our new product line. I cannot begin to express my appreciation for all the people at EDC who are going to spend another holiday season moving machines and building a production shop. We have the best people in the world, really! Our strategy is to matter; to our customers, our suppliers and our employees. On January 7th we think you will agree that we matter more than ever.

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