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Manufacturer links (was Platy Reviews and CD link thoughts)

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  • m_factor@backpackgeartest.org
    Hi Andy, Keep in mind, this is a list of manufacturer s links, not product links. When adding the manufacturers, I ve been trying to take a very even handed
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 31, 2002
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      Hi Andy,

      Keep in mind, this is a list of manufacturer's links, not product links.

      When adding the manufacturers, I've been trying to take a very even handed
      approach. The manufacturer's name always end's up being the link - even if
      the name is different than the product we've tested. I try to use the
      manufacturer's own "language" when possible as the description but will put
      the name or desciption of their products in if there's no appropriate "sound
      bite" on their web site.

      Cascade Designs was probably one of the first manufacturers included in the
      links on the yahoo site. Those links were brought over and populated
      automatically on the new site. I have not revisited them since we moved to
      the new web site.

      Now that a manufacturer like Cascade Designs has multiple entry points to
      their web site, it's probably a good time to revisit our manufacturers links
      pages. How do we want to handle manufacturers like Cascade Designs that
      have multiple products? We can only list so many individual products on the
      description line. And those lists keep changing. For example, I just found
      out today that Cascade Designs bought MSR from REI last year. Keeping up
      with changes like this would be a nightmare. But, do we want to list the
      same manufacturer multiple times? I'm not crazy about that idea.

      An index by product names would be a fantastic resource but probably
      unworkable. What would it include? Only those items we've tested or have
      owner reports for? Not very useful in my book. Anything more would be too
      much work.

      I'm hoping that as our reviews listing grows, those reviews will become an
      index of sorts for the products being sold by the manufacturers we've
      listed. I'm guessing that someone interested in a Therm-a-rest is likely to
      visit the reviews to read about them before going to the manufacturer. The
      reviews list the manufacturer's name (and should also have the web site).

      So, any other ideas are welcome for how to handle links.

      Also, this is just a reminder that I rely on YOU for help keeping this list
      up to date. I am quite certain it is up to date as of the move to bgt. If
      you know of any other manufacturers with reviews listing on this lite that
      aren't in the links listing, please let me know ASAP and I'll update the
      list. Just send me the name of the company, the URL, and for reference if
      approrpiate, the product they manufacture.

      Thanks,
      Mara
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Andy Mytys <amytys@...>
      To: <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 1:19 PM
      Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Platy Reviews and CD link thoughts


      >
      > I recall seeing a request for Platy and Therm-A-Rest owner reviews
      > earlier this month.
      >
      > I will be posting my extensive Platy review tonight. I looked at the
      > BGT.org site under hydration systems and noticed that, since August,
      > there havn't been any Platy entries... what happened to the owner
      > reviews that Jerry asked for? Did everyone just do the Therm-A-Rest?
      >
      > Also, with regards to the "Manufacturers Links" page, Cascade Designs
      > has the description "Therm-a-Rest, Platypus, SweetWater, etc."
      >
      > Shouldn't we get rid of the "etc." and just spell out their other
      > products (e.g. PackTowl, SealLine, Tracks)?
      >
      > I for one didn't even know that Cascade Designs made PackTowls until
      > I was looking for product info and noticed that www.packtowl.com
      > didn't work (today it does, and forwards you to the CD site BTW).
      >
      > Anyway, the point is that someone could hit our list, looking for
      > PackTowl info and not even know that Cascade Designs is the company.
      > There's no specific link for "PackTowl", and doing a search
      > for "PackTowl" on the screen comes up empty too.
      >
      > Putting such product "family" info in the "Cascade Design"
      > description would fix this issue.
    • Andy Mytys
      ... Right. I just wanted to point out how they take a ghost approach to many of their products... whether intentional or not. The CD logo is much less
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 31, 2002
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        --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., <m_factor@b...> wrote:
        > Hi Andy,
        >
        > Keep in mind, this is a list of manufacturer's links, not product
        > links.
        >

        Right. I just wanted to point out how they take a "ghost" approach
        to many of their products... whether intentional or not. The CD
        logo is much less prominant than product names such
        as "PackTowl", "Therm-A-Rest" and "Platypus". In fine print, it
        says "By Cascade Designs". Furthermore, the products are
        miscellaneous items and a little disjointed... they don't fit
        together like packs or sleeping bags. The products are more of
        an "afterthought" or "luxury" than a hiking necessity.

        So, CD products, IMO, have an aura of being seperate companies.

        If listed under Cascade Designs (I too favor being fair and treating
        all vendors the same) I just want to make sure we list all the
        products where it makes sense.

        > How do we want to handle manufacturers like Cascade Designs that
        > have multiple products?

        It is an interesting question. It could be argued that most
        companies have multiple products. TNF, Granite Gear, Integral
        Designs, etc. I think what's unique about CD is that they treat
        their product lines like seperate brands, and CD as the parent
        company.

        > For example, I just found out today that Cascade Designs bought
        > MSR from REI last year.

        Yeah - I didn't even know that REI owned MSR until a few months
        back. And, MSR bought Walrus... I think it was Walrus at least...
        some niche tent manufacturer.

        This opens another dilemma... as MSR has traditionally been a
        strong, standalone, company in terms of public perception. Should
        we "hide" MSR under Cascade Designs, just because of a corporate
        merger? Perhaps we should just make arbitrary decisions, based
        on "perception" of the product itself. Is it merely a line of
        products under the corporate logo, or a brand unto itself...
        irrespective of who the parent company may be.

        Take the auto industry. If you want to buy a Volvo or a Jaguar, do
        you think you're buying a Ford? Is a SAAB a Chevy? Some brands are
        strong enough, due to history or perception, to stand alone.
      • Chief Moderator
        As a note, Cascade Designs doesn t have multiple products...they have multiple companies that produce multiple products. http://www.BackpackGearTest.org
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 31, 2002
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          As a note, Cascade Designs doesn't have multiple products...they have
          multiple companies that produce multiple products.



          http://www.BackpackGearTest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
          the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Andy Mytys [mailto:amytys@...]
          Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 6:48 PM
          To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links (was Platy Reviews
          and CD link thoughts)


          > How do we want to handle manufacturers like Cascade Designs that
          > have multiple products?

          It is an interesting question. It could be argued that most
          companies have multiple products. TNF, Granite Gear, Integral
          Designs, etc. I think what's unique about CD is that they treat
          their product lines like seperate brands, and CD as the parent
          company.

          > For example, I just found out today that Cascade Designs bought
          > MSR from REI last year.

          Yeah - I didn't even know that REI owned MSR until a few months
          back. And, MSR bought Walrus... I think it was Walrus at least...
          some niche tent manufacturer.

          Actually, REI owned MSR, Walrus, and Moss for some time. Walrus and Moss
          were falling apart. Those two companies were turned over to MSR to
          absorb into MSR in an, I assume, economy move. Within a year or so, REI
          sold MSR, now also comprising the mostly digested Walrus and Moss, to
          Cascade Designs. As I understand it, MSR was almost as big as Cascade
          Designs so MSR has been allowed to remain a bit more autonomous than the
          other companies Cascade Designs owns....for the moment, anyway.

          This opens another dilemma... as MSR has traditionally been a
          strong, standalone, company in terms of public perception. Should
          we "hide" MSR under Cascade Designs, just because of a corporate
          merger? Perhaps we should just make arbitrary decisions, based
          on "perception" of the product itself. Is it merely a line of
          products under the corporate logo, or a brand unto itself...
          irrespective of who the parent company may be.

          ### We'll probably list all of them separately. You'd be surprised at
          the companies in our industry that are owned by the same parent
          corporation......

          Take the auto industry. If you want to buy a Volvo or a Jaguar, do
          you think you're buying a Ford? Is a SAAB a Chevy? Some brands are
          strong enough, due to history or perception, to stand alone.




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        • Andy Mytys
          ... Thanks. I wasn t sure if they were actually multiple companies with CD as the parent company or simply strong brand identities under the umbrella of one
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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            --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Chief Moderator"
            <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
            > As a note, Cascade Designs doesn't have multiple products...they
            > have multiple companies that produce multiple products.
            >

            Thanks. I wasn't sure if they were actually "multiple companies"
            with CD as the parent company or simply strong brand identities
            under the umbrella of one company.

            As the "multiple companies" have web pages that fall under that of
            the main Cascade Designs web page, I thought it better not to assume
            too much (i.e. www.packtowl.com takes you to
            http://www.cascadedesigns.com/packtowl)

            The "Multiple Companies" characteristic might be the line where we
            decide whether to bundle everything together under the parent (e.g.
            Cascade Designs link) or have seperate links for each entity (MSR,
            Platypus, PackTowl, Therm-A-Rest, etc.)
          • m_factor@backpackgeartest.org
            Near as I can tell, most of Cascade Designs products are by Ccascade designs and not separate companies under CD. MSR products, for instance, are not even
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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              Near as I can tell, most of Cascade Designs products are by Ccascade designs
              and not separate companies under CD. MSR products, for instance, are not
              even listed on the CD web site. For them, it makes sense to have MSR listed
              as a manufacturer.

              I guess life just wouldn't be all that interesting without exceptions to
              rules. :-)

              Mara
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Chief Moderator <ChiefModerator@...>
              To: <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 12:38 AM
              Subject: RE: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links (was Platy Reviews
              and CD link thoughts)


              > As a note, Cascade Designs doesn't have multiple products...they have
              > multiple companies that produce multiple products.
            • Andy Mytys
              But, could this just be the case because MSR just got acquired? Perhaps they will be integrated into the future... at the very least a link on the tab that
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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                But, could this just be the case because MSR just got acquired?
                Perhaps they will be integrated into the future... at the very least
                a link on the tab that takes to to the more robust MSR page?

                CD might, on the other hand, want to keep MSR seperate with no links
                because MSR has a history and a reputation on its own that's very
                marketable. I personally thought they did themselves a disservice by
                branching the MSR name into tents and filters, not to mention
                hydration and trekking poles.

                MSR is a rocking stove maker. Cookware and organic foods were even a
                stretch, IMO.

                Maybe the best route is to not have any hard and fast rules, and just
                post manufacturer URLs using common sense. If it looks like a
                standalone company, treat it as one irrespective of what's going on
                at the corporate level.

                With the number of mergers going on these days, and the speed of
                their execution, do we really want to keep up with the politics?

                --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., <m_factor@b...> wrote:
                > Near as I can tell, most of Cascade Designs products are by
                Ccascade designs
                > and not separate companies under CD. MSR products, for instance,
                are not
                > even listed on the CD web site. For them, it makes sense to have
                MSR listed
                > as a manufacturer.
                >
                > I guess life just wouldn't be all that interesting without
                exceptions to
                > rules. :-)
                >
                > Mara
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Chief Moderator <ChiefModerator@B...>
                > To: <BackpackGearTest@y...>
                > Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 12:38 AM
                > Subject: RE: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links (was Platy
                Reviews
                > and CD link thoughts)
                >
                >
                > > As a note, Cascade Designs doesn't have multiple products...they
                have
                > > multiple companies that produce multiple products.
              • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
                I haven t been following this tread too closely, but here is what I put in my Therm-a-Rest owner s review: -James T. Product information Item: Ridge Rest® 25
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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                  I haven't been following this tread too closely, but here is what I put in
                  my Therm-a-Rest owner's review:

                  -James T.

                  Product information
                  Item: Ridge Rest® 25
                  Manufacturer: Therm-a-Rest Brand, from Cascade Designs
                  Year of Manufacture: 2002
                  URL: www.cascadedesigns.com  (www.thermarest.com takes you there too.)
                  MSRP: $35.00







                  "Andy Mytys"
                  <amytys@highstrea To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                  m.net> cc:
                  Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links (was Platy Reviews and CD link
                  11/01/2002 10:27 thoughts)
                  AM
                  Please respond to
                  BackpackGearTest







                  But, could this just be the case because MSR just got acquired?
                  Perhaps they will be integrated into the future... at the very least
                  a link on the tab that takes to to the more robust MSR page?

                  CD might, on the other hand, want to keep MSR seperate with no links
                  because MSR has a history and a reputation on its own that's very
                  marketable. I personally thought they did themselves a disservice by
                  branching the MSR name into tents and filters, not to mention
                  hydration and trekking poles.

                  MSR is a rocking stove maker. Cookware and organic foods were even a
                  stretch, IMO.

                  Maybe the best route is to not have any hard and fast rules, and just
                  post manufacturer URLs using common sense. If it looks like a
                  standalone company, treat it as one irrespective of what's going on
                  at the corporate level.

                  With the number of mergers going on these days, and the speed of
                  their execution, do we really want to keep up with the politics?
                • Andy Mytys
                  The main issue has since escaped. We didn t have PackTowl and a few others listed under Cascade Designs in the links page. They were hidden by etc I simply
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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                    The main issue has since escaped. We didn't have PackTowl and a few
                    others listed under Cascade Designs in the links page. They were
                    hidden by "etc"

                    I simply wanted to point out that "etc" didn't cut it, as many
                    consumers look at PackTowl as the brand and are unaware of the CD
                    relationship. We need to spell out these other "brands" specifically
                    or people won't find them.

                    --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., <jetriple@r...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I haven't been following this tread too closely, but here is what I
                    put in
                    > my Therm-a-Rest owner's review:
                    >
                  • Chief Moderator
                    They ve all been integrated into CD pretty thoroughly. They all use a common Marketing, Production, Accounting, etc. staff but are trying to maintain the
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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                      They've all been integrated into CD pretty thoroughly. They all use a
                      common Marketing, Production, Accounting, etc. staff but are trying to
                      maintain the separate branding. MSR was, by far, their largest purchase
                      an brought many people into the organization. There were so many high
                      level people that it was some what hard to tell who brought who. They
                      will be a little challenging for us to name. They have various people in
                      the organization that concentrate on certain companies within the
                      organization. They want them to appear as separate companies. They're
                      actually all one company with multiple divisions producing multiple
                      products. I'm not at all sure that is any clearer. Most of it a matter
                      of semantics anyway.
                      Jerry



                      http://www.BackpackGearTest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
                      the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Andy Mytys [mailto:amytys@...]
                      Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 7:34 AM
                      To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links


                      --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Chief Moderator"
                      <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
                      > As a note, Cascade Designs doesn't have multiple products...they
                      > have multiple companies that produce multiple products.
                      >

                      Thanks. I wasn't sure if they were actually "multiple companies"
                      with CD as the parent company or simply strong brand identities
                      under the umbrella of one company.

                      As the "multiple companies" have web pages that fall under that of
                      the main Cascade Designs web page, I thought it better not to assume
                      too much (i.e. www.packtowl.com takes you to
                      http://www.cascadedesigns.com/packtowl)

                      The "Multiple Companies" characteristic might be the line where we
                      decide whether to bundle everything together under the parent (e.g.
                      Cascade Designs link) or have seperate links for each entity (MSR,
                      Platypus, PackTowl, Therm-A-Rest, etc.)



                      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                    • Chief Moderator
                      Yup...MSR has been able to maintain, somewhat, its independence......so far. Jerry http://www.BackpackGearTest.org : the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 1, 2002
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                        Yup...MSR has been able to maintain, somewhat, its independence......so
                        far.
                        Jerry



                        http://www.BackpackGearTest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
                        the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: m_factor@...
                        [mailto:m_factor@...]
                        Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 8:09 AM
                        To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links (was Platy
                        Reviews and CD link thoughts)


                        Near as I can tell, most of Cascade Designs products are by Ccascade
                        designs
                        and not separate companies under CD. MSR products, for instance, are
                        not
                        even listed on the CD web site. For them, it makes sense to have MSR
                        listed
                        as a manufacturer.

                        I guess life just wouldn't be all that interesting without exceptions to
                        rules. :-)

                        Mara
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Chief Moderator <ChiefModerator@...>
                        To: <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, November 01, 2002 12:38 AM
                        Subject: RE: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Manufacturer links (was Platy
                        Reviews
                        and CD link thoughts)


                        > As a note, Cascade Designs doesn't have multiple products...they have
                        > multiple companies that produce multiple products.




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