Creative Cut: Keep Catalog Sales Healthy
They say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but with a catalog, you must. A catalog has about three seconds to inspire someone to open it — or toss it. My first impression of the Botanic Choice catalog is chaos. This catalog, which sells nutraceuticals, vitamins and supplements, features no fewer than nine fonts and 12 point sizes, a free shipping offer call-out, a free shipping coupon, and seven products — and that’s just on the cover!
Perhaps people who shop this category respond to this type of visual onslaught. But my initial impression is that shopping from this catalog would be like wading upstream in a muddy river wearing heavy boots and carrying a 10-lb. sack of potatoes. I was exhausted before I even opened it. There are some ways to channel (and ease) the shopping experience while staying within the price/value requirements of this category.
Is there any value to branding in a price-driven category? Definitely! Even more so than big red sale prices, consistent branding is what will set your catalog apart in a cluttered, discount-driven marketplace. Branding is the key to creating credibility (and loyalty) for your products.
The Botanic Choice logo should appear larger on the cover, and its positioning tag line, “Superior Quality. Exceptional Value. Doctor Recommended. Satisfaction Guaranteed,” should be shortened, appearing as a unit with the logo on every occasion where it appears. That logo and tagline (as well as the Web site address and phone number) should be in the same location on every mailed catalog.
In a discount-driven environment, the discount should be the prominent message on the page. Here, the 75 percent discount is dwarfed by the “Summer Sizzlers” phrase.
A limited number of fonts, point sizes and colors should be selected, and the catalog designer should stay within that range and palette to make the catalog recognizable to the customer, again and again.