"we" & "they"
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That is all I read here lately. ":We" are becoming "they"?

There is quite a bit of shoveling lately. Ncg asks for help to identify problems with their weighting, due to the fact that they can't look at all the posts, they ask for your/our help. Pcgs posts indicate ncg looks in, to search out disgruntled ngc reg. participants. Other examples abound. There is certainly a lot of Hooey, that needs shoveling, however, why shovel it there, here, back and forth, we and they. Just an observation by an onlooker here for a long, long time, but

even the "level heads" here have gone bonkers lately....

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Oh, great. A thinking man's thread! (My head hurts from reading the weighing thread!).

Ok, I'll play.

NGC serves itself well by not paying TOO much attention to the PCGS side of things and certainly not the whining and whims of us- day to day.

They do well by stepping back and looking at the whole picture and by realizing it is an ebb and flow.

Quick, reactionary responses would NOT serve them well.

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That's how we/they got here. That's how we/they will succeed. The bickering here proves nothing similar to the "understated" stance usually present, that has been working so far...

If Avis suddenly became #1, it would have blown their entire marketing program...

Edited by Pop1

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"If AVIS became number one it would have blown their whole campaign..."

Why? Why tell anyone? Certainly AVIS wouldn't have to and Hertz certainly wouldn't!

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A good question in another type of market, but both Avis/Hertz and NGC/PCGS are watched by industry, markets and stockholders. "Not telling" is impossible (depending on the time periods watched). Facts, especially, placement within the marketplace, by sales, are obvious to all (within qrtly reports, etc). We all know ngc is #2 for now. The idea of projecting anything other is going to be perceived as counter-productive, at this point in time, speaking from a marketing standpoint. The best thing to do is make the best of being #2, ala Avis. Avis has had stints as #1 (depends on what you read in trade journals, time periods recorded, and hear from "in the know execs"), but, as you say, wouldn't publicize. It would blow their entire marketing program, now 35 plus years in the making. I see similarities. This is just mho.

Edited by Pop1

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We all know ngc is #2 for now.

 

Depends. How do you define number one and number two? By quantity of submissions? They're number one. By level of customer service? They're number one. By highest overall rating in the PNG survey? They're number one.

 

By market perception? Depends on what series. Certainly if you focus on a very specific area, such as modern coinage, then they are number two. But I submit that NGC never plans to emphasize modern coinage and couldn't give a rat's patootie if they were number one in that area (heck, they used to refuse to slab it!).

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grin.gif They certainly are, in my opinion. Lack of that realization is exactly what leads to poor marketing choices, and ignores viable marketing ops. Edited by Pop1

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They certainly are, in my opinion.

 

That's your opinion, but what specifically makes you think that? I've already illustrated many areas where NGC is acknowledged as the leader in the industry. You've said nothing to back up your assertion.

 

If you are talking about market value, then I submit that NGC will NEVER be number one and really doesn't care. You see, NGC sets the standards for grading and PCGS simply changes theirs to ensure that they remain being perceived as tighter. If NGC decided to throw consistency out the window and start grading a 64 as a 63 or a 66 as a 65 then PCGS would simply tighten even more. No amount of money spent on marketing is ever going to change that fact.

 

NGC is far better served by not paying any attention whatsoever to PCGS. Set a standard and stick to it, continue to be innovative and give fantastic customer service. The rest will take care of itself.

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"You see, NGC sets the standards for grading and PCGS simply changes theirs to ensure that they remain being perceived as tighter."

 

Huh?

Was the "T" designation a market standard, or a mistake?

Was the "W" designation market leadership or a joke?

"There is no such thing as a 70" for how many years, then flip-flop?

"To slab moderns, or not to slab moderns", that is a question?

C'mon... wink.gif

 

"NGC is far better served by not paying any attention whatsoever to PCGS. Set a standard and stick to it,"

Agreed!

 

 

Edited by Pop1

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Pop1,

 

You still haven't defined in what way you consider NGC to be #2, and in what way your choice of #1 is actually #1.

 

You've stated that this is your opinion, and some of us would like to see a rigorous analysis of your choice.

 

Different services have different ways in which they are either good or bad. And, different people define ``good'' and ``bad'' differently -- partially depending on what's important to each individual.

 

Obviously, TDN and some others weigh the various issues at hand differently than you, and in their system of weighing, NGC fares much better.

 

How about with you? Can you add more detail into your line of thinking? This can be important, because I believe that NGC listens to what is being said about them, and they'll take your comments as constructive criticism and try to improve upon their product. And, in the end, you may get a better product as another viable alternative to your 3rd-party grading needs. (And, competition is always good for us -- the consumers!)

 

EVP

 

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T and W designations have nothing at all to do with grading standards. They are (somewhat) creative marketingideas. I can see why they failed to catch on, yet I fail to see why NGC would be constantly criticized for trying something new. Your response is flippant, but contains no substance.

 

Again, I'm waiting to see the basis for your opinion that NGC is number two in any area except moderns and market value. Moderns I couldn't care less about - anything minted in the billions doesn't float my boat. The only reason CU is emphasizing that area is because they can market high margin coins on which they control the supply and published values. The fact that they are as common as dirt and thus are an endless raw material supply for their service adds to the attraction.

 

Market value is sooo easy to manipulate just by undergrading. That's why so many dealers are switching to NGC - PCGS has decided to undergrade (compared to their recent standards of a few years ago) in order to boost the perceived market value of their coins. The result is thousands of naive professions that PCGS is number one!

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In fact, I have described #2, as I see it, from a marketing standpoint. I see someone tout "consistancy", on the part of ngc. I say their marketing has been most inconsistant, and given examples. That is rigorous enough to make my point, I feel.

I think, obviously, I am looking at a big picture. I hesitate to look at all the "snapshots," within this thread.

Edited by Pop1

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Ok - I didn't get the point that you were trying to make...that NGC is number two in marketing. There is no doubt that PCGS has staked out the top end and will do whatever it takes to remain there. I don't see any way that NGC (or any grading company) will ever be able to dislodge them from that position. Only by falling on their own sword by constantly overgrading could PCGS lose that high ground. However, if they constantly undergrade, they'll eventually go broke so there is a range they have to remain in.

 

So, since PCGS has the perceived #1 tight position staked out (and easily defended), NGC should focus their marketing on the areas of consistency, customer service and innovations. It seems to me that recently this is exactly what they are doing.

 

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My reply is a big huge: EXACTLY! Thank you. Boy, if we all got together, in person, I bet we could talk without all the misunderstandings. I'm all for ngc "making it" to #1 as perceived by all, regarding all "snapshots". It would sure make collecting easier, and lessen the "game" part of the hobby. Consistancy is the key. It'll take some time.

ps. flippant? probably right. Good thread though.

pps. I don't think the "sword" thing will happen. Stock price to zero, though, is a distinct possibility.

Edited by Pop1

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Ok, Pop1. It seems to me that your saying that PCGS is #1 in marketing. But, do you also think that they are #1 overall?

 

If so, please cite some other reasons -- aside from marketing -- that would affect the ranking of PCGS.

 

It seems to me that to us, the consumers, the product of any and every grading service is NOT their marketing prowess. It should be their ABILITY TO GRADE to our satisfaction. Some of that would include: accuracy with perceived ANA standards; consistency with their own grading standards; environmental durability of their slabs; variety attribution; informational content of the inserts; stackability of the slabs; aesthetics of the slabs; turn-around time for grading; accuracy in assessing problem coins; and, willingness to handle grading disputes forthrightly.

 

Do you remember that old commercial -- I think from Burger King -- that had that spunky elderly lady screaming, ``where's the beef?''

 

Marketing is glitz. It may be important glitz from a business perspective, but that's all it is to me, a consumer. I want the beef. Show me the beef.

 

EVP

 

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Marketing is all important, especially in today's growing market. There are many new collectors every day. The "perception" they get early, may be the one they hold for a very long time, and will be supported.

#1 overall? who cares! You don't, I don't, the readers of this thread don't care, but newbies will try to align with the "winner". Marketing the #1 image isn't the same as being #1, but helps to keep market position.

 

 

Edited by Pop1

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Ok, I see what you're saying.

 

But, for me, since I think I see through the marketing, I'm left with only one choice: to seek for the beef. No patty please!

 

smile.gif

 

EVP

 

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Ah, number 2 in marketing, I thought you were referring to number of submissions and earnings. I was confused.PCGS had better stay number one in marketing the way their bottom line is headed and the reverse stock split to try and salvage their NASDAQ listing. Please see this link to see how #1 is doing. Link

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Taken (conveniently) from the above link:

"NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

Collectors Universe, Inc. (Nasdaq: CLCT), the leading provider of value-added grading and authentication services and products to dealers and collectors of high-end collectibles, today announced.... " (thanks, mike)

 

Don't question me for saying #1... (note the "value added". We all know a coin is a coin. Our grade is just as good as the graders'. Upon resale of our coins, however, one must deal with the market, including newbies. They, hopefully, are the ones with the big bucks, and the knowledge we provide - this is marketing.)

 

Now, back to the issues at hand:

 

Being so well versed in the biz, like you and the readers of this thread are, you find yourself and others coming to side with ngc, after a time, because they are better at keeping focused on us, the serious coin collector. It takes time to become this well versed, and learned. Marketing to the newbie can't assume that they know anything. Whether they are long-time collectors or not, marketing the "slab" has to be an agenda item, even for ngc. In other words, "seeing through the marketing" is an asset, gained only through knowledge and experience, and yet marketing is all important.

Edited by Pop1

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Some advice?

Forget innovation. There have been too many mistakes made in the name of innovation, on the part of ngc. Stick to what works, and market that. Let people know that saavy collectors use ngc. Be a spokesperson for ngc, not one against pcgs. This realization and acceptance will make a huge difference in marketing strategy and, eventually market position, I think.

Edited by Pop1

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Pop1,

 

I think that NGC knows exactly what you are saying, but is trying to go about it in a slightly more subtle way.

 

Instead of spending too much money on advertising, they are fighting in the trenches. Go to a show and poll dealers who they send their raw coins too. Most will tell you that they are going NGC-exclusive because they are tired of PCGS's customer service.

 

The approach will take longer, but if the average collector goes to a show and sees a trusted dealer saying NGC is equal, then the collectors will begin to take that to heart.

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Keith,

 

Who says that NGC is equal? For my needs, I find that NGC holds an edge. Not a huge edge, but an edge nevertheless.

 

EVP

 

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I don't promote spending large advertising dollars at all. I promote "subtle" in this case, and I agree with you.

PS. "Equal" is the goal. It is the balance needed, so collectors can be collectors, not wannabe marketing experts, like me. tongue.gif I'd rather not think about this seemingly neccessary stuff. It's not "we" & "they". It's "us".

Edited by Pop1

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EVP,

 

That's the beauty -- they are many areas where NGC is superior, especially at attributions of early coinage. They don't have to ever market superior, just prove they are equal, because the market mindset is that the PCGS product is better.

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It's a great idea, but it takes time and commitment.

 

First, you have to take care of the dealers who submit to you. From my conversations, NGC is doing this. Especially in the area of bodybags, dealers are able to call and talk to the graders who made the decision and discuss why the coin got the bodybag in question, or for graded coins, why a coin may have gotten a specific grade.

 

Second, take care of the little guys, the collectors. The post the other day on PCGS's boards, where a collector wasn't satisfied with the resolution to a downgrade is a great example. NGC found out from PCGS's boards that the collector wasn't satisfied with the resolution, and went out of their way to correct it.

 

By continuing to do what they do, grade coins and keep customers happy, NGC can make leaps and bounds without expensive advertising, and without having to direct attacks at the competition.

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I see plenty of full page ads taken out in the Trades by NGC. Some good marketing, some not.

 

NGC does what PCGS is doing and vice versa.

In some arenas NGC is doing it slightly better, in others, not so much so.

 

"Where's the Beef?" That was 'Wendy's'

-Guess it wasn't such a great ad campaign if the burger maker who sponstered it isn't remembered...

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Pop1, I hate to pop your pcgs ballon, but that quote you thanked me for was written by PCGS, maybe you should have read the whole release to see who released it. smirk.gif Talk about nonsense at the same time they are fighting for their stock listing life, they are calling themselves the leading provider...blah blah blah

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