12 Key Tips for A Successful Catalogue
As they say, no-one plans to fail, they fail to plan. And this is never more true than with a catalogue campaign.

I've always maintained that the creative is sometimes the easy part of the job, but that underplays the importance of nailing the brand side of the equation.

But when that's all signed off there's the detail - anyone who has put a catalogue together knows that's where the devil is!

So, in for those either just starting their production or just putting their catalogues to bed, I thought I'd just list a few of my favourite tips.

(And if your catalogue designer doesn't know about ##4, 5 or 6 please call me!)

1. Have a clear merchandising strategy that will make sense to the customer - if the catalogue has a theme, don't be persuaded to include "off-key" merchandise, just because it's marginally cheaper to add a few more products.

2. Design with your brand in mind - ensure your customer recognises this is from you (

The front cover is all important
that doesn't mean increase the logo size!)

3. The front cover is all important - you've got 2-3 seconds to grab your customer and draw them in - it's like the headline to an advertisement.

4. Floor planning for hotspots - special pages for strongest messages. Know what your hero products are and how you're going to highlight them.

5. Layouts for eyeflow - put things where they'll most likely be seen. There is a known way the eye tracks around a spread. Make sure your designer knows it.

6. Readability of colours & fonts - don't put up barriers to legibility and comprehension. And don't let design get in the way of communication.

7. Photography - deep-etched usually means low end price. Good photography is good content. It should help you tell your story. A picture paints a thousand words...

8. Copy tone - this, too, should match your brand. Are you friendly... or stylish?

9. Number of pages - too few pages can mean a shallow range. Create a balance between number of products shown, product description and engaging content.

10. Formats - printers have their favourites, usually dictated by their presses
Think "origami" to come up with economic (format) variations
but you should think "origami" to come up with economic variations. Use standard formats as the basis, but think outside them.

11. Distribution strategy - for letterbox distribution make sure you choose your drop areas carefully. Forpersonalised mail to your customers make sure list hygiene is "best in class." Consider testing with smaller formats/sample offerings or only sending to more recent or your best customers.

12. Cross-channel strategies - take your print catalogue online. Your best customers will use both. It also makes sense to repurpose and leverage great content as often as possible. There is a range of options from flip-books right through to full-blown apps.

The list isn't meant to be exhaustive but I trust it'll help to point you in the right direction or remind you of important issues when all around you are just trying to "get the damn thing out!"

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