Princess House, Inc. | Company Profile, Marketing Contacts, Media Spend, Brands
Princess House, Inc., headquartered in Taunton, MA, is a direct seller of a variety of household goods. The company's products include cookware, food storage items, lighting products, bakeware, textiles, gifts, home décor products, and flatware. Princess House designs and markets its products through more than 15,000 "Lifestyle Consultants" that organize in-home parties.
|Main Telephone||(508) 823-0711|
|Main Fax||(508) 823-5182|
Princess House, Inc. ContactsContacts (3)
|Connie T.||President & Chief Executive Officer||MA|
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|Kelly H.||Vice President, Sales Strategy & Development||MA|
|Stefani S.||Director, Marketing & Programs||MA|
|Princess House, Inc.||*|
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INTERVIEW: Princess House's new Prez, CEO discusses priorities, bringing on an agency
Princess House, a direct selling company that specializes in products for the home, has hired Connie Tang as its first woman president and chief executive officer.
Her professional career began at Clinique and Lancome, followed by her tenure at BeautiControl, Inc., an international direct sales company, where she rose quickly to become vice president of special markets. When Tupperware acquired BeautiControl in 2000, Tang was assigned to lead the expansion strategy that brought the company into key global markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America.
In 2008, Tang joined direct selling company JAFRA Cosmetics as president of JAFRA USA. In that position, she led corporate employees in California and Texas and supported more than 55,000 independent sales consultants in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
She also developed dynamic strategies and initiatives to create market growth while leveraging already established penetration and strength in multi-ethnic market segments in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Only about 10 weeks into her new role, Tang spoke with DailyVista about Taunton, Mass.-based Princess House’s growth goals and marketing priorities, which includes bringing on a unique type of agency. The company is also in the midst of celebrating and planning for its 50th year anniversary in 2013.
Tang said this is an exciting opportunity because as a professional and a mom, she is familiar with the challenges faced by Princess House’s sales force and primary target audiences: customers and independent consultants.
“I look forward to imparting life experiences coupled with my business experience to help customize what Princess House has to offer them,” Tang stated. “I can speak from their shoes. That’s really exciting and I think that’s what they're excited about. Certainly, as we move forward in determining and defining the company’s brand for the next 50 years, we want to continue our relevance to speak to that target audience. It’s very important for us to continue to build and foster that loyalty that we’ve already acquired through the years.”
Since 2009, Princess House has grown its number of consultants by 44 percent despite the challenging economic environment. Tang said the company has performed well during the recession because people are looking for supplemental income or even replacement income. Also, direct selling and Princess House, in particular, offers a completely open opportunity for a wide variety of women.
“It is open to anyone regardless of their background, their educational upbringing, where they’re from, what language they speak,” she expressed. “I think that’s what the beauty of it is. It’s not only an opportunity as a consumer to acquire very high quality products at accessible prices or even for free if you are a hostess, but there’s also the business opportunity. It affords women the flexibility of being in business for themselves and allows them to drive their life and family responsibilities around the business, and be paid very fairly.”
Tang added that women nationwide are making life decisions and choices to be home-based business owners because they want more balance.
“Having control of your own business opportunity and earnings is the best way to do that,” she said. “Princess House has been a viable, relevant opportunity and choice for them for almost 50 years. It speaks to the longevity and relevance of the company as we’ve continued to evolve, grow up and mature.”
Still new to her position, Tang provided a broad stroke look into some of Princess House’s priorities:
First, she touched on the need to improve Princess House’s all-encompassing digital technology platform. This includes infrastructure, the front-end commerce system and communications, such as the company’s role in social media, online e-learning and as a business partner is providing relevant, current and robust information.
“We want to look at the evolution of Princess House’s digital platforms for the internal operational structure as well as externally in how we service, communicate and speak to our customers and consultants,” Tang acknowledged “That’s one big, big chunk that surely will take a few years of multi-stage and multi-phase development to implement, but we’re thoughtfully and carefully going through it.”
Another priority is evaluating Princess House’s brand and positioning from both a product standpoint, as well as image and target audiences.
“We want to make sure that we are poised for the next 50 years of growth, so we need the right positioning – whether it’s about product category; continuing to be relevant and cutting edge in the direct selling opportunity arena; and how we continue to attract new generations for our business,” Tang expressed.
She said Princess House has people who have been with it for more than 30 years, but the company must lay the groundwork for finding and nurturing up and coming leaders.
“Looking at our brand and our strategy is very much about our viability and sustainability for the next 50 years,” she added.
Another piece in Princess House’s strategy is challenging itself to continue being competitive in the world of consumer satisfaction and service. Tang said the world of retail and commerce is transforming dramatically, so Princess House must stay on top of developing trends in consumer buying habits.
“We hear about Black Friday but then we hear how Black Friday is being taken over by Cyber Monday,” our source stated. “An important thing to revisit is, how do we stay as a relevant and important choice for people’s home goods, cooking, cookware and tableware decisions as consumer buying behaviors change? What world do we play in, how do we play and how does it fit? It doesn’t mean that we’ll conform to what is changing but certainly we need to be adaptable to where it makes sense for us. At the end of the day, all of our independent consultants and leaders are business owners; they all have virtual storefronts. How do we ensure that we help prepare them and us for the change in consumer buying behavior, so they don’t become outdated and fall victim to the changing environment and demands of the consumer?”
As America’s face and complexion has changed during the past 30 years, Princess’s House’s sales force has become extremely diverse. As such, the company also must continue improving its ability to address a multicultural, diverse sales force, something our source said Princess House already does very well.
“Half of our sales force is of Hispanic descent,” Tang added. “That’s a very coveted position to be in when companies are just beginning to look at how they integrate into that. Half of our sales force is already there, and we have seedlings of an African American contingency. Our goal is to continue honing in on what we already do well – communicating to our specific market segments, while penetrating deeper into those segments where we already have a foothold. I think that’s a huge competitive advantage that we don’t intend to lose sight of. We want to strengthen it as the layers of diversity become much deeper.”
Tang said that while Princess House is ahead of many companies from a multicultural standpoint, it is catching up on the digital platform side in some instances.
“We’re there in some areas, and there are some where we have significant work to do,” she continued. “What’s wonderful is that we have identified that and have positively made decisions to move forward from a commitment and resources standpoint. We have a plan to move forward. Sometimes companies come in and they’re in denial, but we are past the denial stage. We know where we need to go; now it’s laying the road map of how to do it well.”
On the agency front,, whom Tang has worked with previously, is helping to get the word out regarding Princess House’s change in leadership. Our source said the company is just beginning discussions with some agencies to bring on a potential partner.
“As we’re beginning to evolve in our work and look at our branding and brand strategy, obviously, that will impact our communications, literature, images, photography and websites,” Tang acknowledged. “It has a trickle down impact, even on products and even on packaging.”
She expressed that this isn’t a call for all interested agencies to contact Princess House, but the company is working with contacts and referrals to find the right partner.
“What we’re looking for is very unique,” she continued. “We’re looking for someone who can come in and be quick at understanding that unlike a new company, we have a 50 year heritage brand, so we have to be respectful of that. You can’t change who your parents are and how you were born. It’s understanding that and taking all of those brand essences and icons and figuring out how they carry through, and what it should morph into over the next 50 years to remain relevant. We want to attract new customers, while not alienating existing customers and end consumers.”
Since Princess House is so diverse, Tang added that not all agencies are equal in their experience level working with such a multi-faceted audience.
“There are companies that hire agencies to develop a Latino market penetration program, and there are companies that hire an agency to develop a social media campaign, which is very specific” Tang continued. “We already have a diverse sales force and demographic; we need to maintain that. What we’re looking at is, how do we continue to not lose sight of what we already have, but dig deeper into it too? In finding the right partner, we hope to not take the role of professor and teacher. We want them to come in and help us find opportunities based on their experience level. It’s a different approach, certainly, and we are looking for a specific skill set.”
In addition, the agency must understand the direct sales environment.
“We’re not a retail brand,” Tang expressed. “It really is a very emotional business model, so understanding that and being quick to adapt to that type of culture is also crucial. Everyone will say that they’re different and we believe so too, but those are two very significant pieces to finding the right partner.”
Tang said agencies that meet this criteria should email Elizabeth “Biz” Dailey at The Delaney Company, who will forward the most relevant approaches for review.
Regarding Princess House’s 50th anniversary in 2013, the company is going into “intense strategic planning” during the next four weeks to prepare for the celebration.
“That’s actually at the end of the month, but to kick off the 50th anniversary, in fact, we already launched a 50th anniversary incentive two weeks ago at an event in Las Vegas,” Tang stated. “It is an eight-day, 50th anniversary Mediterranean cruise. It’s a sales incentive for our existing consultants that they can earn. It will take place next year in May. We have started the buzz but we will be pulling together a 50th year anniversary rally. That’s part of our strategic planning.”
One example of how Princess House has already improved its digital presence is that it live streamed the Las Vegas event for the first time ever.
“What a way to say that we’re moving into a new era of growth, excitement and development,” Tang expressed. “It showed that we’ve come a long way. To be able to live stream that event to thousands of consultants across the country and a few other countries was a great opportunity for us. It showed what we mean by technology. It’s not only a question of how we plan and develop technology, but how does it fit with our model?”
Tang cited social media as an example of this and compared social media’s networking capabilities to direct sales.
“Direct sales is social selling; it’s a very social environment,” she added.” It’s Yelp and Facebook live! It’s a question of, how do we include it so we don’t fall behind, but also help newcomers to not be afraid of it.”
Our source continued that technology and social media won’t replace the face-to-face direct selling model, but they can supplement it.
“It’s a very valuable tool but we have to figure out how to balance it,” Tang expressed. “You can spend your life in front of the computer and Facebook, but business doesn’t come through on the screen. It does come through active engagement, especially when we’re talking about the types of goods that we offer. We offer high end cookware and that’s hard to sell without letting people try it. Part of the experience is seeing the demo, smelling and tasting the food and being within that social setting sharing it. Digital platforms can’t take that away but they can enhance it.”
470 Myles Standish Blvd.
Taunton, MA 02780
President & Chief Executive Officer
The Dailey Company LLC
Elizabeth “Biz” Dailey