What Makes An Effective Catalogue?
Catalogues are still a major sales tool for many sectors even in this digital age. Just ask Argos why they go to the bother of printing millions of their very thick expensive catalogues, or any auction house, wholesaler, supermarket chain and many more. Having said that, every business wants to ensure that they get full value for their design and print spend through producing an effective catalogue that sells. This is why they engage professionals with the specific skills and know-how to convert images and words on the catalogue pages into an irresistible “buy me” message in the mind of the consumer.
What Aspects Do The Experts Focus On To Produce A Successful Catalogue?
There are many great tips and we will cover some in this article. However, the Big Three Rules that must be adhered to for success are:
- Rule #1 – it must look professional or it will get tossed in the bin immediately
- Rule #2 – it must speak to your target audience or it will not be read by them
- Rule #3 – it must be attractive and visually appealing
Professional appearance is vital because your catalogue is a mirror image of the professionalism of your company. If you try to produce something in Microsoft Paint, for example, it will look like the output from a kindergarten class and nobody will buy a lawnmower that does not at least look good on paper. Images must be professional and clear, and show the aspects of a product that potential buyers / industry sectors want to see.
Addresses your target audience in words and sentiments that they are familiar with and that are suitable for that segment. A brochure for yacht and boating equipment from a ships’ chandler will talk in word pictures that appeal to the outdoors types while a mother and baby catalogue will use a totally different lexicon and word picture gallery. Engaging a good copywriter can make all the difference but it is vital to put yourself in the mind of your intended customer.
Visual appeal is critical because it is the first subconscious reaction that a reader will experience on picking up and flicking through your catalogue’s pages. Your competitor will certainly produce an attractive version and you must at least match that quality. This means engaging a professional graphic designer with experience in catalogue layout.
Catalogue Design Tips & Tricks To Make It Effective
Cross sell which is what Amazon does on every product listing with their “Customers who bought this product also bought . . .” product suggestions. That is excellent cross selling as long as there is some genuine relationship between the products. When designing your catalogue it is easy to think of three related products for most top selling items, for example.
Benefits Benefits Benefits – Features are great must they must be converted into benefits that hook the customer. People don’t buy features; they buy the benefit they believe they will obtain. The old expression is totally valid – Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
Don’t assume they will understand the benefits of a feature – spell it out for them.
Tell them how to buy it and make it easy for them to do so. Again, don’t assume they will search the catalogue for your contact details. Put them on every page so they can’t miss them.
More Great Tips
Why not download our free eBook The Catalogue Design & Print Guide and learn more about what goes into designing and printing great catalogues. It’s a field we are experienced specialists in, and we are happy to share this useful information with you.