Glenda Shasho Jones

Glenda Shasho Jones
Creative Cut

A beautiful front cover shot beckons the recipient of Fancy Flours’ Holiday 2007 catalog to open up and browse. Most bakers would be drawn to these cookies, frosted and decorated in the holiday spirit. It has a Martha Stewart feeling, with the soft photography and the celadon coloration. Unfortunately, after the photography, it’s all downhill. First of all, where’s the name of the catalog? Oh, there it is, on the bottom of the cover, in small, hard-to-read script type. Logos belong front and center. A cataloger’s name should be the first thing customers see, hopefully peaking out on the top. In the glut

Longer Road Needed to Go Hollywood

Hollywood Gadgets has a wonderful assortment of products. Unique and interesting, it’s a catalog you know will do well if you can get it opened and perused. Therein lies the challenge. This catalog is filled with potential, but undertapped opportunities. Front Cover Perhaps with all the best intentions, this cata-loger may feel it has worked hard on the front cover, but is it also working smart? A lot of people might applaud putting the product in a lifestyle setting, but is that enough? Is it compelling? Dramatic? Emotional? Relevant? Differentiated? If you put your hand over the logo, would you know whose catalog it was? The cover

Catalog Creative: Common Problems Evident at ACCM Critiques

The critiques at the ACCM’s roundtables and medical center in Boston last week that I took part in had some clear themes. The biggest creative challenges that surfaced this year seem to center around common areas. 1. Brand Identity. This, I concluded from giving these critiques, is a growing concern, as more catalogers realize that strengthening brand translates into sales. Goals include communicating a distinct personality and look as it relates to a “unique” positioning. Multichannel interpretation of brand is also top of mind. 2. Organization. This continues to be an ongoing challenge, especially with smaller catalogers that often have less experienced talent that just doesn’t

Creative Cut: The Organized Bird Gets the Customer

The Duncraft name is synonymous with amazing products for bird enthusiasts. It already does a good job but, like many catalogers, taking a step from good to great can lead to better presentation and increased sales. Front Cover There’s very little that can compete with a dramatic and emotionally relevant front cover. Duncraft understands this and knows its customers will be drawn in by the beautiful wildlife bird shot. The overall composition is appealing, featuring a strong and prominent masthead and a supportive tagline. In this case, the tagline is above the logo instead of below, where it would be expected. Nevertheless, it works, because the

The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Merchandise Presentation

A cataloger’s job of presenting merchandise is second in importance only to selecting the right merchandise. Readers decide in seconds whether they’re going to continue to read about a product or move on. The amount of information readers comprehend “at a glance” isn’t limited by their brains; it’s only limited by what we put in front of them. Even those interested in a product will skip over it if they don’t understand it or they’re not “sold” on it. What and how you show product in your catalog makes all the difference in the world. The following list contains the most frequent

Creative Remedies for Purity Products

What does a cataloger do when the products he or she sells just don’t look appealing? That’s precisely the situation for Purity Products, a seller of specialty formulations. Download the complete article (96k PDF)

Compelling Covers

By Glenda Shasho Jones What's the best way to boost your catalog's response rate? Create a more effective catalog cover. Indeed, it may be your best chance to improve performance. After all, your cover certainly is your most valuable page. An effective cover can mean the difference between your catalog being tossed or getting read. Are you not capturing customers because they don't recognize your company or can't see your logo at a glance? What if they can't tell what you sell? Or what if they're not interested in the product they see on your catalog's cover? Are you giving them enough

Employ the Praise

Many catalogers who use customer testimonials say this creative element boosts sales and adds a friendly touch to their brands. Below are some things to consider if you, too, want to utilize this creative element in your print catalogs. Testimonials Work Most catalogers report a general boost in product performance when they use testimonials, although many admit they don’t scientifically measure the impact. “I used testimonials at Gardener’s Supply and think they can be really powerful catalog marketing tools,” says Susan Stone Russel, the former circulation manager at Gardener’s Supply catalog, and currently a manager at Intuit. “My main objective