Over the next couple of years, Mrs. Beasley’s introduced 232 new products. Last year, new products accounted for 45 percent of the company’s sales.
Clement also recommended a drastic overhaul of the catalog and Web site. Fletcher and Ryan came in and changed what was then a slim jim format to a standard size to give the catalog a chance to better show the luscious nature of the sweets the company sold.
What’s more, Fletcher discussed some key design and copy changes she installed in the new-look catalog.
The slim jim format “didn’t show the gift baskets well,” Fletcher explained during the ACCM presentation. “There were unusual dot-whacks and taglines on the cover, which wasn’t very product-specific.” Fletcher also recommended that Mrs. Beasley’s back off a “reduced” shipping offer also shown on the old cover, because “it reminds customers you have shipping charges and tells them that they’re still high on some products.”
Fletcher noted that she found a lot of issues with headlines, displays and copy. “There were a lot of throw-away headlines,” she said. In essence, the copy and heads weren’t romancing the product.
Fletcher offered 10 creative take-away tips to attendees. Among them,
1. Promote benefits to customers and explain why they should buy it.
2. Make a visual representation of your customer; create customer personas of your core customer types using portraits clipped from ads or magazines.
3. Ease of shopping must trump just about anything else by making product presentations easy to understand.
4. Don’t ignore the tried and true. Dot whacks, cover lines and magic words, such as “free,” “save,” “sale” and “new” all work.
5. Identify three key points and promote them.
6. Develop a punch list of creative ideas.
7. Do your heavy creative lifting up front; develop a well of defined creative strategy and get buy-in from higher-ups early.