New developments in SCOTTeVEST’s bid to resurrect the bankrupt seat-back pocket catalog company
A few weeks ago, the news broke that SkyMall was bankrupt. You know SkyMall – everyone knows SkyMall – that ubiquitous catalog found in the seat-back pockets of every commercial airplane in the US. Even if you didn’t love SkyMall, everyone knows what it is. I know it better than most: I sold my multi-pocket travel clothing line SCOTTeVEST inside for years.
At first, it seemed like a shame that SkyMall was going away. What else would people read while flying cross-country after their devices ran out of power?
Then, it seemed like an opportunity. Then opportunity turned into a plan. CNBC,CNN, NBC News, Reuters, TechCrunch, Engadget and even the Hollywood Reporter agreed with me: I am going to get SkyMall back into the air.
But the media outlets are all missing something, and I’m going to tell you right here, right now, the rest of the story.
The Plan for SkyMall: A LinkedIn Exclusive
While I am playing much of our strategy close to the (SCOTTe)vest – and keeping a few aces in my pockets (since I am Pocket Man) – I just have to tease some of our favorite developments in our bid to rescue SkyMall.
More than just a catalog. Sure, it looks like a catalog. But SkyMall has always been entertainment first, and shopping second. That’s the secret sauce that made it so compelling. While the “social sharing” of SkyMall’s content was limited to just exposing your travelling companion yet another outrageous product, the content was always entertaining.
We will dial up that entertainment aspect of SkyMall by embracing it as a source of creative content. Think J. Peterman creative. Or Patagonia creative. It’s a sophisticated version of entertainment and fun. We will use the travel experience as a metaphor to drive our product selection, copywriting and imagery to create a highly entertaining inflight shopping experience.
But we’re not stopping with an amazingly entertaining print experience. We will mirror and extend the best of the print product on a new digital portal – accessible for free to every passenger via their phones, tablets and computers both during the flight and after they land.
If content is king, we need to work with a king of content. Enter: Jim Louderback, former CEO of Revision3, former editor-in-chief of PC Magazineand TechTV host. In other words, Jim really, really knows content, and will be my co-pilot for making SkyMall everything it can be. Expect an amazing, curated shopping experience coupled with unexpected but fascinating stories told in unique and exhilarating ways.
Keep it fresh. SkyMall will most likely start out as a quarterly, with several versions of the catalog printed concurrently. Travelers on a round trip journey may see a different version of SkyMall on each leg, with at least 25% new content in every new version. We want everyone to always reach for SkyMall because they know it will surprise – and delight – as it helps melt the miles away.
(Re)building relationships with airlines is vital. Airlines clearly benefitted from SkyMall, including some ways that I am bound by NDA not to disclose. Suffice it to say, a properly restructured and reimagined SkyMall will produce a string of win-win-win-win situations for airlines, passengers and vendors.
The products. The product sections of SkyMall will be an evolution from what’s been there in the past. We want to be clever, but not kitschy. Think: gadgets and travel aids… not alien butler statues or dragon bookends. However, we’ll still find the most fascinating and unexpected products that will both fire your imagination – and your sharing impulse. Travel should be enjoyable, and we want the products found in our SkyMall to enhance that experience.
As the deadlines approach for competitive bidders to stake a claim in SkyMall, I am confident that my plan will be the most effective – and the most entertaining – for fliers, the airlines and innovative product manufacturers. The fact that it will be highly profitable from the first issue makes me even more excited to jump through the remaining hoops and kick development into high gear.
The core concept of SkyMall didn’t cause the current company’s failure. You can still do good AND do well by creating an entertaining, informative and exciting curated shopping experience for travelers. We have a detailed – and simple – plan to get SkyMall back in the air.
And… if our first plan doesn’t work, there is a Plan B, and a Plan C….
I won’t let anyone keep SkyMall grounded for long. And I can’t wait to get started!
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ABOUT SCOTT JORDAN and SCOTTeVEST
Scott Jordan is the CEO and Founder of SCOTTeVEST, which creates multi-pocket clothing designed to carry electronics. He is the author of Pocket Man: The Unauthorized Autobiography of a Passionate, Personal Promoter.
Read a sample of Scott’s book for more about his experience on Shark Tank and the pocket empire he has built.