We found 29 items tagged in 'Catalogue'

Two recent retailer-focused articles, one from the UK and one from the US, give weight to the Australasian Catalogue Association's recent gung-ho supplement to its Catalogue Industry Report.

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Here are two examples of stores whose strategies, and use of rich content, we just love - because selling needs to be more than just product and price.

One is seemingly a content driven site with a store attached. 

The other is a well planned, well positioned "outdoorsy" online store that has a small bricks and mortar presence. And it uses catalog(ue)s plus a good dose of content to promote its wares.

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We've seen and written a lot lately about the resurgence of catalogues (not surprising really, given we are a catalogue design company!). The Multichannel Merchant Outlook 2014 study last year gave even more credence to the proposition that catalogues today continue to be a strongly relevant medium.

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Should we expect fireworks if Millennials and Boomers were to meet for a bite? Some shin scarring kicks beneath the table perhaps?

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As reported in the Wall St Journal and NPR Two-Way, J.C. Penny recently announced their return to catalog marketing after an absence of 5 years.

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This is NOT one of those articles full of predictions for the coming year. Frankly, with so much happening in the world of retail, marketing and catalogue design (our area), we find trying to stay on top of all the trends such articles suggest we should be on top of, all a bit daunting. If not downright intimidating.

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The annual ACA (Australian Catalogue Association) industry report just hit our desks. It contains fresh insights garnered from research by Roy Morgan, PwC's Entertainment and Media Outlook, Nielsen, Australia Post and other sources.

If you're a marketer who is looking at how to create more web traffic; or how to create more consumer engagement; or how multi-channel marketing can increase your ROI, it's well worth an in-depth read.

But for now, here are some top-line highlights - these are metrics you may not be receiving from your traditional media planner.

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Mums are changing.

We've been reading and thinking a lot about this recently. 

Drawing an absolute conclusion from the incredible amount of data that is pouring in is a bit like trying to put a saddle on a galloping horse.

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Change in the way media interrelates means we need to re-evaluate how marketing options can be re-engineered to get the best result. We think now is the time to do that with retail catalogues...

The trusty retail catalogue ("circular" for my US friends) needs to change.

Where we could perhaps once get away with just having the retail catalogue as more like a brand-building piece to lure into store, most retailers these days are also selling online; so now catalogues also have the job of driving web traffic and sales, essentially selling "off the page" - one of the hallmarks of a Direct Marketing catalogue.

For that reason, I think retail catalogues should now adopt some of the strategy and design practices of their direct marketing cousins to ensure we maximise how individual products can be made to contribute more strongly to the overall performance and profitability of a catalogue.

The following steps borrowed from direct marketing catalogue techniques should help you achieve this:

1. Start with floorplanning so that the strongest categories get the number of pages they deserve. Base this on either past or projected sales or profit or a combination of the two. Giving every merchandise department 2 pages just because that seems "fair" is not good strategy.

Allocate these pages to those positions within the catalogue that are most likely to achieve the highest return.

2. Use known eyeflow patterns to create layouts that take best advantage of hot spots so that individual products give you the biggest bang for your marketing buck. These decisions should also be based on expected or desired outcomes.

Unfortunately, as attractive as templates seem to be in assisting with layout production efficiency, they tend to compromise a stricter, and potentially more profitable, product-by-product analysis.

3. Photograph in accordance with the layout so that the image orientation (there should be one) suits the position on the spread. Carefully styled or modeled images are traditionally used for more important merchandise. Be careful, deep-etched (silhouette) images can imply "budget" unless high-quality lighting is used to hero the product in the way Tiffany does.

In particular, the use of photography shot primarily for web, can result in images either being in the wrong position from a layout perspective, or with the wrong orientation for eyeflow purposes. Saving on photography by re-using material shot for a different medium can be false economy.

4. Copy is something retail catalogues have seldom bothered with. We think it's time to re-evaluate this; with so much information and marketing messaging out there customers will need more convincing than just a pretty shot and a cheap price to take the next step to web or store. Give them something benefit-driven they can use to make a decision to want to delve further. Even if it is only 10-15 really well-chosen words. Maybe invest in a professional copywriter, particularly if you have limited space - brevity is an art.

Pureplay online retailers who are just discovering the power of catalogues to drive web traffic should also adopt these principles. Some of their catalogues we've seen recently have seemingly been designed from more of a retail perspective and with merchandising strategy based on "a bit of everything to see if we can attract someone." Not a great way to get the most out of the investment. Even if their use of catalogue is just a "toe in the water," to be a valid test, it's important to give the medium every chance you can for it to succeed.

Implementing all of these changes at once is probably beyond most retailers and, to be fair, it's important to test and measure to determine what is working for you.

Perhaps concentrating on the lower hanging fruit such as floorplanning and eyeflow-driven layouts may be a good place to start.

We started out life as a Direct Marketing agency; driven by clients who had the need, we developed a specialisation in DM catalogues. Then along came retailers who thought they could use catalogues to drive customers to store.

So, having a foot firmly in both camps, when we make calls for changes like the ones here, we like to think we've earned the right to do so.


Today's catalogues aren't an easy "fix." In fact, like any good marketing, they take a lot of hard work to produce maximum results.

We believe the guidelines and rules are due to be modified to keep pace with changes in the overall marketing environment. 

And then, when adhered to, they will be proven performers for both bricks and mortar and online retailers.

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We think this is gold.

We were just about to go "Live" with an article based on "How We Shop, Live & Look" by John Lewis, one of UK's leading High Street retailers.  

Yes, the report was dated November 2013 but we still thought there were lots of good and current learnings for local retailers.

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Well before my time, there were print and press Art Directors. Some of the more conscientious of their number became interested in a thing they called "effectiveness". Why would one ad work better than another ? David Ogilvy wrote some rules for his agency. 

A guy named Colin Wheildon* researched the subject for 7 years! And although that research is now over 20 years old there I've found no subsequent studies that have disputed his findings.
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Changing a corporate website is about as contentious as changing the logo. Even the cleaner wants a seat at the table - and we don't employ him!

That we managed to do a complete transformation in under 2 months (including a fully mobile responsive version) we think is amazing. Thanks to all our wonderful people.

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So, you think print catalogues are dead, huh? Just don't say that to Richard Baker, whose Hudson's Bay company shelled out $USD2.4bn last year to acquire the 90 year-old Manhattan icon Saks 5th Avenue.
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There are times in every marketer's life when you see something so good you wish you'd been THAT genius and then retired. Immediately. Because it couldn't get any better and you can't top it.
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No prizes for guessing what this article is about. If you use catalogues and want to make sure you are on the right track without the headache of undertaking an agency, or internal, review this might just be the answer.
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As every retailer is fast becoming a Direct Marketer (because customers respond best to a personalised experience) I've found it's worthwhile re-looking at some basic Direct Marketing rules. Doing so can free up funds that will have a compound effect, not just a simple saving going to the bottom line...
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As they say, no-one plans to fail, they fail to plan. And this is never more true than with a catalogue campaign.
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Right about now, retailers around the world are planning their Xmas Catalogues. And some are planning not to have one at all. So what are the pros and cons of catalogues? Are you for them or against them? What's the risk of going all online?
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In the world of fashion, the Helen Kaminski brand has become a "known" international name which stood for high quality, designer raffia hats and bags. Yet, the more successful they've become in terms of sales, the greater the need to control what they want the brand to stand for.
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One of marketing's toughest decisions these days is choosing the right channel to place content into the customers' hands, none more so than the debate between digital and traditional, "old-school" media.
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We've been helping Freedom produce sales-boosting, award-winning catalogues and content for over 30 years. While it is probably way too early to pronounce the demise of the printed catalogue per se*, online catalogues have certainly become an increasingly significant part of the catalogue landscape.
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This case study looks at how CAS client Howards Storage World changed their marketing strategy from product-centric to content-rich - and the results they achieved.
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If you could get your customer to spend 15-20 minutes with your marketing material I bet you'd be more than happy. That's what one UK online retailer is finding with the catalogs they are sending their customers.
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With share price double the IPO listing in November 2012 and surging a whopping 14% two weeks ago, everyone wants to know what Restoration Hardware is doing so right
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In two separate recent articles, leading online retailers are reported as turning to the use of hard copy printed material, to increase sales. 

Whether in the form of product catalogues or more elaborate, editorial style "magalogues" featuring products available on their sites, these e-tailers see print as both another touchpoint and as a "bridge" to those on their customer data base who may not be regular visitors to their sites but who still enjoy the convenience of shopping at home. 

"We're meeting customers where they shop," said Wayfair's GM of merchandising for lifestyle brands.
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The Problem We had To Solve

For the past 10 years we had produced iconic annual catalogues for Howards Storage World, each year becoming more sophisticated and solution-centric for the Howards customer.

In late 2011, Howards approached us to take their catalogue online.

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A recent Roy Morgan study shows that Australians still have a high regard for the usefulness of catalogues
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With so much attention on digital media these days it almost seems a little retro to be writing about print catalogs but Bloomingdale’s have released
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Australian retailers have always been fond of print catalogues and now Roy Morgan has given us the numbers that show why. According to a report released end December 2012, it seems that even in the digital age, this hard-working, traditional tool is valued highly by all age groups from 61% in the 14-24 group through to 75% in the 50+.
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