Congratualtions to the Catalogers of the Year
We here at Catalog Success are proud to once again honor a select group of merchants. The 2005 Catalog Success Catalogers of the Year represent some of the best minds in the industry. And their expertise runs the gamut: from branding to customer service to merchandising.
Pat Connolly, chief marketing officer at Williams-Sonoma, is one of the catalog industry’s high priests of branding. Indeed, his skills in this area are legendary in the industry. And the results of his efforts are apparent: Williams-Sonoma’s direct division alone will account for about $1.5 billion of the company’s estimated $3.5 billion in sales this year. In our profile of Connolly you’ll discover some of his success strategies.
Mike Faith, founder and president of Headsets.com, has made offering superior customer service his mission in life. He actively solicits customer feedback and personally reads every survey submitted. And he publishes his own phone number and e-mail address in every catalog and order mailed. In this way, he says, he gets direct customer feedback, not months-old, internally compiled reports that were heavily filtered before they reached his desk.
Moreover, to entice his employees to strive for a high level of customer service, Faith uses several tactics, including innovative training and incentives — techniques he has shared with us and that you may find useful in your own catalog and e-commerce operations.
Marilynne Eichinger, president of Museum Tour catalog, has taken merchandising to a whole new level. A former museum director, Eichinger founded her catalog of museum shop-quality educational toys about 10 years ago. She scouts out merchandise associated primarily with institutions of learning and through her catalog, brings those products to a national audience. Today, Museum Tour enjoys an annual circulation of 1.5 million and gets an impressive 4.4 percent average response rate. No doubt Eichinger’s success stems from the fact that she has tapped into every parents’ desire to offer their children the very best in knowledge-enhancing toys.