Tie association undone

Lest you think my warnings about the consequences of failing to prepare for the future are nothing but empty threats, I urge you to read about the shuttering of the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association today. Here are three key points from The Wall Street Journal article that stand out for me:

+U.S. market share for American-made ties has fallen to about 40% today, from 75% in 1995.

+U.S. sales of ties have plummeted to $677.7 million in the 12 months ending March 31, from their peak of $1.3 billion in 1995.

+”Some members of the neckwear association sensed the trend two years ago when, at the group’s annual luncheon in New York, a number of people turned up tieless.” [Emphasis added]

So, just to be clear, American tie makers have been losing market share and sales for more than a decade, but MDFA’s members just realized what was happening two years ago? What have they been talking about since the mid-90s? Perhaps the association’s board of directors had the blood flow to their brains cut off by the neckties they were wearing during that time.

And here’s the money quote:

Gerald Andersen, the tie association’s executive director, stresses that dissolving the trade organization doesn’t mean that ties are dead.

He’s right. It just means the association is dead. What will you do to ensure that your organization isn’t next?

Jeff De Cagna

Jeff De Cagna is chief strategist and founder of Principled Innovation LLC, and a contrarian thinker on strategy, business models, governing and the future of associations.

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