Gemma made a lovely comment on my If Filofax Appointed Me Overlord For A Day – Part 2 post. It was so good I am featuring it a guest post. Thank you Gemma!
f it were up to me, the single biggest change I would make to Filofax is to stop producing so many different models, and focus on a few styles so that color selection and stock availability would be much improved. A peeve of mine over the years has been the penholders—there should be two, they should be adjustable, and they should be replaceable. I completely agree that ring mechanisms should be easily replaceable, and I want to see them made out of stainless steel or Monel, something that doesn’t corrode and look horrible several years down the road. Leather quality control needs tightening up, and all materials should be selected with an eye toward sustainability and durability, and there should always be a vegan option.
I personally would very much like to see a B6 size, 125mm wide by 176 mm tall, to compliment the Personal at 95mm wide by 171mm tall. This would entail making the ring mechanisms 5mm longer, and some binders 30mm wider. A B6 size would be perfect for those of us who are always torn between the writing width offered by A5 and the compact size and lower weight of Personal.
I would offer a higher quality paper stock, not cotton cream, but cotton white, specifically with fountain pen users in mind. I would like to see Filofax return to the handbag and small leather goods market with a more consistent range of products. This is really a separate business segment, but it has a broader appeal and can be used to support the core business.
Might I suggest also considering the fact that some fields still use products like “Rite-in-the-Rain”? If there’s a company that would be a more perfect fit for a merger with Filofax, I can’t think of one. Creative users are another field that is laden with opportunities.
Speaking of which, advertising! Filofax desperately needs better advertising. People do not understand why in 2014 and beyond anyone would choose a Filofax over an iPhone. As I say all too often, “My iPhone keeps me connected to the world; my Filofax keeps me connected to reality.” Advertising should emphasise not only the practical aspects but build mystique around the product. A Filofax is no longer as much of a business tool as it is an expression of one’s personality. “What’s in her Filofax?” is a campaign idea I’ve floated in the past. Filofax should embody elegance, at every price level.