Recently, a hat boutique opened up near me. In need of a device to block the sun’s glare without interfering with the visual quality of the world around me, I stopped in and bought a baseball cap. A fancy one. Everything was as pleasant as can be about the experience, but I was amused by the number of misinformed marketing gimmicks they trotted out at the sale’s completion, like a frequent buyer card. Buy 10 hats, get the 11th free. Really? They’re not ice cream cones.
I find it hard to imagine a world in which I’m going to need 10 different chapeaus, let alone require then an additional 11th.
Next, they asked me for my email. They wanted to keep me informed of deals, sales, and the latest hat shipments. Reasonable enough. Then they said they’ll also be hosting parties at the store, which I will receive invitations to via my provided email address.
“Parties, like hat parties?” I asked. The saleswoman affirmed this was correct. “Some clubs require you to take your hat off before you go in,” I, in a wisenheimer mood, continued, “but this one you’ll have to wear one to get in.” The saleswoman also affirmed this was correct, albeit facetiously.
The store also told me that I could team up with a friend to get my hat card filled up. I don’t even have time to finish my Netflix queue or offload my bucket of gadget on Craiglist, and I’m supposed to be spending my leisure hours coordinating haberdashery runs with my pals? I think not.
I thought it was a bit silly for them to slap together a bunch of typical marketing tactics and overlay them onto a product where it doesn’t quite fit. It’s a medium and message disconnect, like the ribbon separating from the brim on a poorly constructed Homburg.
Correct me if I’m wrong, hat fanciers, and, if so, I’ll eat mine.