Marketing: Doubleday double take

The Morris family made a trip to Costco last Saturday. After scoring some great samples and stocking up on our poultry needs (my wife doesn’t eat red meat), we meandered toward the books/CDs/DVDs/games section and what should appear on the books table but the Doubleday version of the Book of Mormon. There they were — two or three rows, stacked up 15-20 deep on the end of the table next to a novel titled “Armageddon” and across from Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” (click on the link above to see the humor in that).

It was a strange encounter. It was one of those “Is that? Oh my goodness, it is! How weird.” moments.

Since then, I’ve been thinking about why I had the reaction I did.

I think that it would have been one thing to see a couple of copies tucked into the shelves in the religion section of a bookstore. To encounter it for the first time in a more genteel, more scholarly sort of setting.

But to see them piled up, their dull gold covers gleaming under the flourescent lights, priced at a discount.

Well…

Costco certainly has a way of making even the nicest products seem like a cheap, easily reproducible, easily obtained commodity — which I love when we’re talking about a huge jar of capers or a nice wheel of baby brie. And, of course, who cares if it is a commodity? It’s the content — what’s between the covers — that counts. And that hasn’t changed with the Doubleday version.

And to be fair to Costco, although one could make a case against the type of consumption they encourage, on the other hand, I like shopping at a place where products aren’t over-merchandized and -packaged. At least there was no display case nect to a big cardboard cutout of Joseph Smith.

The table had been recently re-stocked so there was no way to tell if it had been selling well.

Final note: I still like the cover, but the gold trim doesn’t quite work for me — it’s more gold than it looked in the image released for the media. From a distance it looked too much like a Christmas title.

4 thoughts on “Marketing: Doubleday double take”

  1. I’m excitedly waiting for the author’s book signing tour. I can’t wait to get Nephi and Moroni to autograph not only the book, but my Living Scriptures DVD’s too!

    🙂

    MRKH

     

    Posted by Mark Hansen

  2. And to be fair to Costco, although one could make a case against the type of consumption they encourage, on the other hand, I like shopping at a place where products aren’t over-merchandized and -packaged.Off-topic, but… if you’re going to shop at a bulk warehouse store, Costco’s the one to choose, in my opinion, because of their enlightened labor practices. 

    Posted by Jeremy

  3. Peggy:

    This was at the Costco in Richmond, CA. I would love it if you and other AMV readers would report on if the Doubleday edition is available at the stores in whatever locale you find yourself.

    Mark: 😉

    Jeremy:

    Excellent point. No need to feel guilty about buying that 10 pound bucket of fresh mozarella. 

    Posted by William Morris

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