Subscription Madness

I was browsing the Write Notepads website tonight when I noticed they had a new pocket notebook subscription service (they call it memberships). Do we really need another subscription service, especially one for pocket notebooks where Field Notes dominates?

I’ve never used their pocket notebooks although there are those who like and use them. Plus, assuming you use everything included it does seem like a good value. So, I’ve got no complaints about the product, but I still have to ask – why?

I actually do like and use their larger wire bound notebooks. It’s why I was visiting the site, it’s almost time to replenish my stock. I think this is why this subscription, I mean membership, annoys me. They missed an opportunity to add some variety and skip the “me too” pocket notebook subscription and build it around their other notebooks. They know their sales better than I do (duh!) so maybe they know there’s not enough of a market there. I can’t say I would subscribe to a subscription based on their wire bound notebooks, but I would certainly consider it since I use them regularly.

I’ve been extra cynical and grumpy these days (I blame all the politics in the news) so I’ll continue on but you’ve been warned. I do see this as a “me too” to Field Notes so calling it a “membership” annoys the hell out of me. Yes, there are other promised perks but they are all opportunities to give them more money.

It only gets worse after “membership”. Calling it an “amazing opportunity” opportunity adds to the annoyance. That’s a term a marketing department uses, even if they’ve never seen the product. Yes, there may be a discount, but you take the product whether you like it or not. I wouldn’t argue that this isn’t a good deal if you want the notebooks, but I fail to see the “amazing opportunity.” A free trip on the space shuttle is an amazing opportunity, a discount on products is not.

Finally, they call us friends which further irritates me. I’m sure they have friends and are nice folks. But a business calling their customers friends simply because they’ve given them money is insincere and insulting.

They are asking for money in exchange for a product. This is just too much marketing speak for me and if I wasn’t already a happy user of their notebooks I’d be moving on. No, I don’t think they’re evil and we should stop doing business with them, but marketing would be better with pictures of the products, not empty superlatives that every marketing department uses. I’ll keep right on buying the spiral notebooks, but they need to dial it down a bit.

I’m note sure any of these subscriptions are really a good deal, whether it’s pencils, notebooks or a mix of stationery supplies. I’ve subscribed to Field Notes in the past but received notebooks I didn’t like, so I gave them away. Plus I have dozens of 3-packs waiting for their turn. So I’ve spent more money with the subscription than without.

I hope their subscription is successful. If you want and like the notebooks (and will use them) it seems like a good deal so go for it, although I’d recommend waiting for the first release to get a better idea about what to expect. But, if you are interested check them out here. Shipments start March 31st.

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