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The Solvent Side of Sears

In a bit of housekeeping news - special thanks to reader Dan for helping create a brand for this dige
The Marketing Brief
The Solvent Side of Sears
By Rob Bettis • Issue #11 • View online
In a bit of housekeeping news - special thanks to reader Dan for helping create a brand for this digest. I’ve struggled to succinctly convey my hope for it and talking it through (and the subsequent design work) was immensely helpful.
On to the news…
This week I have been engrossed in the news of Sears filing bankruptcy and closing a huge swath of their stores. This isn’t particularly interesting in the short-term, as Sears has been on the decline since promoting its ‘Softer Side’. The aspect of the story that captivates my mind goes back to its heyday - to the catalog days. Via
Before There Was, There Was The Sears Catalog. Founded As A Mail-order Watch Company In The Late 19th Century, Sears, Roebuck & Company Made Its Name With Its Swollen, Jam-packed Catalogs That Advertised Everything From Underwear To Entire House Kits. Around The Holidays, Families Across The Country Would Circle Items In Its Legendary “Wish Book.” 
Sears’ Retail Stores Spread Across The Country & Its Sales Stayed Strong Even During The Great Depression, As The Company Spawned Now-famous Brands Like Kenmore, Craftsman And Even Allstate Insurance.
With its phonebook sized Christmas catalog (expanding the depth of its “shelf space”) and state-of-the-art distribution infrastructure, they were once a powerful disrupter in retail.
Several years back, I had the opportunity to work with a client who was revitalizing the old Sears distribution hub in Atlanta, GA. As a part of our work, we got a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility before the revitalization began. It was nothing short of incredibly impressive. Sears’ was a behemoth. And understanding their power then shines an even brighter light on their decline today.
I am increasingly convinced that becoming an industry leader is the second hardest challenge for a brand. The hardest challenge is staying there.

The Solvent Side of Sears
Sears bankruptucy: 142 more stores to close, liquidation sales soon
If you are feeling nostalgic, check out this great collection of images for Sears’ catalogs throughout the years.
Sears Catalog #110
Sears Catalog #110
The Rise Of Subscription Delivery Box Services
Fast Company delivers…pun intended…a wonderful look into the world of subscription delivery box services. After a season of surge and decline, the business models for successful services have normalized and the details the separate the winners and losers is fascinating.
How these brands won the subscription box wars
Face...palm. 🤦🏻‍♂️
It turns out that Facebook could in fact use data collected from its Portal in-home video device to target you with ads
Public funds support proposal to remove Zuckerberg as Facebook chairman | TheHill
Subscribe & Shame
A new twist in Amazon’s pricing game that inches ever closer to favoring Amazon at every turn.
dan barker
Some Amazon products are now only available to Prime members.
7:16 AM - 14 Oct 2018
Follow-Up: Google+
In last week’s digest, we discussed the information leak that lead to Google sunsetting Google+. Since the failed social network has been in the limelight, several former employees have emerged to share their personal stories working in and around Google during its ‘Force Everyone To Use G+’ campaign. Once such multi-day Twitter thread recounting can be found below. If you are interested in the inner-workings of Google, you should give the whole thread a read by clicking on the Twitter logo in the tweet box.
Now that Google+ has been shuttered, I should air my dirty laundry on how awful the project and exec team was.

I'm still pissed about the bait and switch they pulled by telling me I'd be working on Chrome, then putting me on this god forsaken piece of shit on day one.
12:52 AM - 9 Oct 2018
A Last Minute Birthday Present 🎁
Tomorrow, October 20th, birthdays will be celebrate by Snoop Dog, John Krasinski, & yours truly!
If you enjoy reading this digest each week and are looking for a last minute present idea for me, consider sharing this digest with someone you know. I have loved seeing the readership grow. And the larger the audience, the more time I can dedicate towards making it even better. 🙏🏼
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Rob Bettis

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