Catalog Doctor: Conquer 'Fear of Selling'
Prescription: Create a branding style guide, but don't make it so rigid that every issue of your catalog looks the same. Create lots of templates. And sometimes break from templates. For example, put a free-form page in a grid catalog, or devote a whole page to one product in a dense catalog. Your logo, style guide fonts and color palettes will lend branding consistency. Your customers will have reasons to read every catalog.
* Myth No. 4: "Don't put the 800 number or URL on the front cover — there's nothing to buy from the cover anyway."
Prescription: Your catalog is more than an invitation to open and look inside; it functions like an ad — a memory trigger to needs ("I've been meaning to order new shirts") and brands ("I like their shirts"). A URL on the front cover makes it super easy to immediately browse online. An 800 number on the front cover makes it easy to call when you know what you want ("Can you look up what candy I gave my brother last year and send it to him again?").
Have you tried the prescriptions, but find that fear of selling is hanging on? Test, then share test results with your team. Seeing results in black and white usually affects a cure.
Susan J. McIntyre is founder and chief strategist of McIntyre Direct, a full-service catalog marketing agency and consulting firm in Portland, Ore. Reach Susan at (503) 286-1400 or email@example.com.
Susan J. McIntyre is Founder and Chief Strategist of McIntyre Direct, a catalog agency and consultancy in Portland, Oregon offering complete creative, strategic, circulation and production services since 1991. Susan's broad experience with cataloging in multi-channel environments, plus her common-sense, bottom-line approach, have won clients from Vermont Country Store to Nautilus to C.C. Filson. A three-time ECHO award winner, McIntyre has addressed marketers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has written and been quoted in publications worldwide, and is a regular columnist for Retail Online Integration magazine and ACMA. She can be reached at 503-286-1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.