Not saying “Thank You” cost Nordstom’s BIG money

This week the big news in Direct is that Nordstrom’s has had to cut it’s forcast because it cut it’s direct mail program. But the big takeaway isn’t that direct mail is awesome, though it is. The big takeaway is that saying “Thank you” to customers is one of the most powerful things a brand […]

What is the future of catalogs?

In 1998 I first heard that online was going to kill catalogs. Thirty years later they are still here, still relevant and gaining a younger audience. But as technology advances and retail evolves what will happen in 2025? I am thrilled that Kevin Hillstrom is also pondering this very thing and will be sharing his […]

Online shopping kind of sucks.

I’ve spent the last 30 years with a laser focus on how women shop and what we have now isn’t cutting it for women. The web was designed by engineers and coders who value speed and efficiency. They did a brilliant job, it’s fast and efficient, but if you actually like shopping, if you want […]

It’s that changeup time of year

I’m not really much of a baseball gal (Go Sox!) but the changeup I’m talking about is the cover changeup. Every year all good catalogers will take the results from the previous year and see which covers did the best. There is always the winner that works every time. A hero shot of the best […]

Pull up! Pull up! Behold the slide to irrelevance

A friend and colleague, Kristen Stetson, asked me recently if I knew someone at The Company Store. I don’t, but when you are done reading this please pass it on if you do. The disconnect Kristen saw a headboard that she liked in The Company Store catalog. She was looking for a headboard so this […]

Avocado dog food

Everytime you add new product you have to position it. Positioning is the story you tell the customer about why they want it and what it will do for them. The first and most important question is “What is it good for?” That isn’t a simple question—consider the avocado. In the 70’s, when avocado growers were […]

Using catalog space for good and not evil

When someone says “Can we promote this in the catalog?” how do you answer? Catalogs can move the needle on a lot of fronts: customer acquisition, inventory issues, brand enhancement, and customer education. To do things effectively there needs to be a pretty relentless focus on the catalog’s strategy and costs. If you need to promote […]

Engineering flexibility into your catalog pagination

Last year I took a fresh look at swapping out covers for versioning and realized that changing how the catalog signatures (pages that get printed together) were bound together allowed clients to have greater flexibility at very little cost. Here’s how it works. The traditional pagination for a 36-page catalog has a 4-page cover and […]

Does Flow Matter for Catalog Pagination?

Over the last few years, we have been working with several internet pure play companies who are just getting into cataloging. One of the things I’ve noticed is they are very focused on the flow of the catalog. I think that coming from the internet they really value a narrative, because it’s really hard to […]