Creating a Winning Catalog
Damark’s creative is also driven by the products it sells. High-tech computers and electronics aren’t sold by a cataloger creating a mood, but by the desire to have the latest in technology or the coolest new gadget. It’s not selling a lifestyle, but rather the latest products at low prices. So unlike many other catalogs, Damark features simple product shots.
Many consumers are looking to buy these products at the cheapest price possible, and Damark wants to compete for their business. Damark “isn’t afraid to show the price,” says Rudolph. In addition, as customers are brand-sensitive when purchasing electronics, brand logos are included with almost every product.
Additionally, because of the technical nature of the products Damark sells, it employs what Rudolph describes as “promotional copy”—benefit-driven copy that quickly explains why each product would be welcome in the home.
Damark relies on testing to tell it what creative works and what doesn’t. Among the things it tests: offers and teasers, cover wraps, dot whacks and paper stock.
Rudolph describes Damark’s creative as “in your face.” To this end, Damark begins selling right on the front and back covers. Damark has tested both product and concept covers, says Rudolph, but “has found product covers to be more effective.” The front cover features a great offer—free shipping—in large type. This is an effective attention-getter, as many consumers cite the shipping charges as the main reason for not ordering from catalogs. To find out the details, the prospect is directed inside the book.
A fluorescent pink dot whack covers part of the headline. According to Rudolph, Damark tests dot whack placement, and says, “We’ll put it over the copy; we’ll put it over the photo; but not the price!” Damark has tested dot whacks in different colors, but always returns to fluorescents. “We’ve tried gold and silver, but those efforts weren’t so successful.”