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 […]

The benefit of Travel Pajamas

The 3 rules of advertising are benefit, benefit, benefit When you want to increase sales of a product, the most important thing to do is determine the benefit. What is the product going to do for the customer? Most product copy focuses on the attributes, product specifications, what it does, what it’s made of, where it […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is sending something less relevant, better than sending nothing?

There in lies the conundrum for marketers, especially email marketers. If you send nothing, you get nothing back. If you send something that isn’t relevant, you get some sales but you also get unsubscribes, which are worse than nothing. Is sending something less relevant, usually discounts, better than sending nothing? That depends. I have heard […]

What matters most in catalog design?

If there is one thing that will move the needle in catalog design, one thing that makes more impact than anything else, the thing that really makes the cash register ring, it’s product knowledge. There is no better thing to spend your time on than really, truly understanding what you are selling and why it […]

Shipping charges and STDs

Shipping charges are making a come back. The glow of free shipping is giving way to the reality that advertising lower prices works, offers a very real advantage online, and allows more flexibility in promotions. Free shipping was never really free, and making the numbers work with free shipping all the time isn’t possible for […]

Adobe is training me to be a jerk, #Adobe sucks

  A few weeks back I needed to work over the weekend to catch up from a bout with the flu. No one wants to give up a weekend to work, but sometimes there just isn’t another option. And then my computer went wonky, and then InDesign crashed, and then nothing worked. I was able […]

FIVE Catalog Design Fails

When assessing or critiquing catalog design I’m of the belief that every issue could “always be better.” However, most criticism points to small deficiencies that at the end of the day, do not make a big difference in overall results. Collectively they can make a big difference, but only if your catalog layouts truly stink […]