"We learned very quickly that we had no idea what we were doing." That's how Meredith Mahoney, senior director and general manager of Birch Lane, a home décor brand that's part of formerly online-only Wayfair Inc., bluntly assessed the company's start in the catalog industry. Tasked with starting a brand from scratch in seven months, Mahoney and her team at Birch Lane learned on the fly — and self-admittedly made some mistakes in the process. However, what's emerged is a growing brand that's positioned itself for future success.
There's more to obtaining print bids than price. Printer lead times should be part of the mix. For example, when mail tapes and creative files are due to the printer should be considered. The shorter the deadline when mail files are due to the printer the better. This enables catalogers to include more recent buyers in the mailing.
3-D printing and what it means for the fashion and retail industries was the focus of a discussion that took place during the FashionWare at CEWeek in New York City yesterday.
With the cost of printing and mailing catalogs prohibitive for many retailers, those that do need to squeeze every ounce of value out of their catalog budgets. Here are some proven recommendations:
Ikea catalog fans are a pretty finicky bunch. The last time the furniture retailer made what some might consider a slight "tweak" to the 61-year-old tome (after 50 years of use, in 2009 it changed its iconic Futura typeface to the more computer-friendly Verdana), consumers went ballistic. Now, it makes an even more ambitious leap with McCann Erickson's makeover of the 211-million circulation pub. In August, the retailer tapped the agency to revamp the famous printed showroom and yesterday debuted a video introducing "A New Kind of Catalogue."
Cross-channel retailers have heard for years that catalog marketing is no longer practical. It's too expensive and not a sales driver is the line that's repeated. There are hundreds of companies that would argue otherwise, however. When managed properly, a catalog marketing program can still be very profitable. Here are two tips to help your catalog marketing program reach profitability:
Stephen Lett gives a guide to factors you might not consider when looking for your next printer.
Quad/Graphics, a printer of retail advertising inserts in North America, announced today it's investing $20 million to expand its insert printing capabilities in the upper Midwest. The investment, which includes adding four retail offset presses to its Lomira, Wis., facility, will give clients additional quick-turn production and rapid delivery of versioned, smaller page count advertising formats inserted into newspapers.