What’s Your Merchandising Vision
Says Cary Tennis: “With copy, we try to really know our customers and speak their language. And a lot of people comment that they love to read our book! Oftentimes, [Doug] likes to use a sense of humor to relate to customers.”
For example, take the Frontier Soap description:
• All you cowpokes out there; listen up. You may work like a horse, but there is no need in smelling like one. …
3. Keep your core products. “We don’t add much ‘out of the box’ product,” Cary Tennis says of Crow’s Nest’s product selection. However, several years ago the catalog did a few spreads encompassing golf merchandise.
“We figured our customers have the income, the age and the lifestyle, so we put together some golfing gifts and accessories. The collection didn’t do badly, but we decided it didn’t perpetuate our core business, and may not result in repeat buyers. That’s not to say we don’t experiment from time to time, but we’re careful to be sure any new categories complement our overall lodge theme.”
4. Create a mood. At Goose-berry Patch, Plotnick-Snay says, “We try to create a feeling on every page. We watercolor each product image [instead of using photography], which creates a certain sense visually within the catalog. Internally we sometimes give each product grouping a headline like ‘Grandma’s Kitchen’ or ‘Retro Harvest.’ Sometimes that’s carried over into the actual catalog, sometimes it’s not. But it helps us have an image in our minds as we’re writing and designing for that group of products.”
5. Find the right mix of price points within each category. Says consultant Chuck Howard: “Pricing is not the key; it is only one factor. But if you have only $300 items, you’re not going to have growth.”