Love by the numbers

Love by the numbers

How do you get customers to love you?

Good news—bad news. First the good news is they have already told you. Now the bad news, it is a lot of hard work to understand what they are saying.

Don’t blow past this

I have seen sales increase 20% and more by, without ego, and without preconceived notions of what customers SHOULD like, diving into the data to see what they actually like.

When I was the art director for the L.L. Bean Travel catalog, I noticed that every time the rolling luggage was shown with someone pulling it, sales went up 3% to 11%. Customers wanted to see someone rolling the luggage. It was a simple fix. It wasn’t a simple thing to figure out. I looked at all the presentations the luggage had appeared in and then checked the response to see which pulled better (pun intended). Then I looked at all the winning presentations to see what they had in common. A lot of work, but consistent results.

I guarantee you that looking at presentations of your top products over time will give you actionable insights like that. But it isn’t a quick flash of brilliance, it’s a roll up your sleeves and break out the spreadsheets kind of thing. If you hate numbers and you aren’t good at seeing patterns, enlist marketing to help. Don’t get angry when it isn’t the “cool” stuff that turns customers on. And don’t believe for a minute that doing it by the numbers means you won’t come up with new ideas or find new creative solutions.

More than just Creative

I wrote this about Creative but the same exercise is just as eye-opening for Merchandising and Marketing. Look at the data. What merchandise do they love? What Marketing do they love? (Yah, I know, FREE shipping.)

Great catalog creative is a blend of new ideas and hard work. New ideas are the frosting, but the cake, the thing that rings the cash register, is the hard work.

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Sarah Fletcher
President/Creative Director Catalog Design Studios Inc.
Co-Founder Catalog University