Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fiskar's: The Cutting Edge in E-Commerce invites you to share your stories online and maybe sell you some of their cutting edge tools. Their marvelously inventive site hovers between the virtual and the creative life lived offline,where things are cut and pasted. What looks at first like an an artful site for user-generated content is actually an innovative e-commerce site. For that Fiskars deserves four stars for creating e-commerce " info-tainment" for those of us with that uncontrollable urge to tell stories in a media versatile manner.
What exactly is Fiskar selling online ? Basically it's selling widgets. No, not desktop software Apple and Yahoo widgets, but real tools that you handle and manipulate with your hands in the real world to get things done offline. Fiskar's products include paper cutters for scrapbooking, highly specialized garden tools, splitting axes and paper cutters that would never sell in a store. Check out these Garden Widgets.

To sell these tools that cut things Fiskars has created a virtual community of scrapbookers, gardeners and knitters who do the real thing offline. And they keep their branding down. Thanks guys.

Niching Content With Knitting Needles

Are gardeners just mucking around or waxing spiritually as they scatter seed across the ground? Debbie Anderson of Concord, North Carolina, a gardener, treats us to a cartoon of aliens in a spaceship and asks, “Who says the rows must be straight?” When “In my garden, my hair is red and my daddy’s name is Warbucks, ” says Anderson.

The results are fun to view. Pages from participants' journals are displayed on the site along with Fiskars's queries or instructions.

John Jordan of
Granville, Ohio, created this page in his journal in response to Fiskars' directions to
Draw a line across the middle of the page. On the top half, express how you feel when you are doing chores that have to be done (cleaning, bills, grocery shopping, etc.). On the bottom, express how you feel when you are scrapping/crafting.

Following Fiskar's directions to draw a scenario of what the world would be like if everyone took up sewing and/or quilting, Kate Mikkelsen of Chicago, Illinois pasted a close-up shot of a knitted scarf in her journal that becomes a landscape. Underneath the picture she hand=writes: "Oh we would be so well scarved," telling us that her passion is
Finding the perfect color combination, in just the right yarn for a pattern you’ve been itching to do - well, that’s just the best.

Is this niche content or what? Who would ever think that knitters could be so passionate about what they do with needles and yarn?

Stitching Together a New E-Commerce Model?

For the community journal project, Fiskars' site tells us
We invited gardeners, papercrafters, sewers and quilters to share their stories with us. We provided them blank journals to use to express their feelings about the things they love to do. We've selected just a few of the insightful, funny and unintentionally brilliant pages we received and posted them in this creative community. And, in each category, you'll find a Featured Journal packed with lots of extra pages and stories to explore.

Do U Crave a Tactile High Offline?

After spending hours glued to your computer's keyboard do you lust for real materials like thread and colorful cloth material? Anne Cale of Reston, Virginia advises us, Start quilting. It will help you understand your part in the cycle of life.

Project Orange Thumb

Fiskars also created Project Orange ThumbSM to support community garden groups with tools and materials.
we see community garden groups as innovators in their communities. We believe it's important to support the people who make communities better places to live.

The comany's ingenius marketing honchos named Project Orange Thumb in honor of the orange handles on their extremly ergometric scissors.

I know them. I own a pair. Some mornings in a caffeinated rush I zip through the NY Times, madly clipping articles which never get mailed for friends to read, turning yellow on my coffee table instead. It's a great tradition in my family. "

Warm Fuzzy Branding For ARTSY EARTHY Folk

You can bet that Fiskars is creating an incredibly loyal bunch of users who will rally to their orange brand with warm and fuzzy feelings created by the interactive site.

Way to go.

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