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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Part 1: August 18th is National Mail Order Catalog Day

August 18th is National Mail Order Catalog Day! What? Yes, it’s a day dedicated to catalogers everywhere. Seriously. Not kidding. As a catalog consultant, I often tell clients that cataloging is in my blood. Part of my DNA. I recall my first real job after I graduated from college: Macauley’s Office Supply in Detroit, Michigan. […]

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 […]

Yo Creatives, Your Job is Safe from Robots

If you are in the creative department, your job is safe for a good long while. Research scientist, and AI provocateur, Janelle Shane used artificial intelligence to try and name paint colors. She fed the AI 7700 Sherwin Williams color samples. Below are her results.   Enjoy your holiday weekend, secure in the knowledge that your future […]

What else can catalogs do? Let’s talk return rates.

I’ve been working with a new client and in our first group meeting, where we get to know the company, we talked about pain points. One of the things that came up was that they had a 20% return rate. For some companies that is cause for considerable alarm, for others it’s not even going […]

You won’t remember the pain

So right now, as you sit exhausted and numb from another holiday onslaught, take 5 minutes and write it down. Write down everything that didn’t work well. Write down what did work. Write down the things that made you go “Huh.” Write down the things that made you go “Wow!” Don’t worry about getting it right, […]

Rudolph and Catalog Trivia

It was 52 years ago today that Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer aired on TV. But what you may not know is there’s an important connection to the catalog industry. Back in 1939 Aaron Montgomery Ward (of THE Montgomery Ward store empire) asked copywriter Robert May to develop a coloring book for store patrons. The […]