Add New Value, How Lenox China invented the Bridal Registry

To add new value is the only way for companies to stay in business. With cutting-neck competition, if a company does not add new value to its customers, it will perish.

Lenox China Company is an American company, founded in 1889, and specializes in selling ceramic articles, dinning plates and complete sets of dinnerware.

Lenox china sets became so popular in the early 20th century.

When faced by the European competition, Lenox resorted to American designers and artists to come up with exclusive custom china plates for Lenox.

That worked, but it was not enough.

The fact in the market was that every American bride dreamed about getting one set of good china.

Start by understanding the problem

The problem? The price was far too expensive.

Guests giving wedding presents could not afford a full set.

And even then, they did not know which set the bride prefers, or which pieces she does not have.

The demand was there, but the right service was not.

If Lenox China Company did not add new value to its customers, it would have vanished.

If Lenox China Company did not add new value to its customers, it would have vanished.

Develop new markets or promotional techniques for the same goods and services

To solve this puzzle, Lenox resorted to an old traditional solution; the bridal registry.

In its simplest form, the bride would create her registry, and keep it at the retail store.

The registry book would list all the things the bride stated she wants for her marriage.

The bride would then refer her potential donors of wedding gifts to visit that store and look at that registry, with the help of the merchant.

Some brides went on to advertised their Lenox Wish Book in newspapers.

Advertising your Bridal Registry with its Lenox Wish Book in newspapers.

Advertising your Bridal Registry with its Lenox Wish Book in newspapers.

Adding value to customers

This solution helps in avoiding the duplication of gifts, and ensures that newlyweds will get what they want.

Guests would then buy whatever their budget allows, and the merchant will keep track of what’s gifted and what’s not.

In doing so, repeated gifts will be kept to a minimum, if any.

Friends and relatives gladly share the costs, and the happy bride enjoys her good china.

There is always a catch

The catch: Lenox in bringing back the concept of Bridal Registry, added one clause: only Lenox china was allowed in that registry.

“Creativity is thinking up new ideas.” – Theodre Levitt, Harvard Business School.

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For all its simplicity, the Bridal Registry made Lenox the favorite good china manufacturer in the US, and a profit-making company as well.

Of course, Lenox opted to some heavy-weight marketing techniques. They targeted young girls in their teens magazines and even in their schools.

A concept can be around since long time, just in need for a new strategy to convert this old concept into something new, of value, to both the customer and the seller.

Always add new value

Can you think of an old concept that you can re-implement in a smart way to provide new value…
…Thus enabling you to create a new customer?

Later on, the Bridal Registry made the jump to the online world.

Yet Lenox China did not have the lead on it…
… They didn’t need to, their name is already engraved in the hearts of millions and millions.

Lenox China Company is known for producing the first American-made presidential china.

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[Condensed from The Essential Drucker book, page 182]

Read also: How to start a successful online store

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