Catalog and Marketing Design Tips

In DireLights, our final project is to come up with and design something new to bring into the company for people to use or explore in some way. This can be any innovation you can think of, ranging from new candle designs to a promotional video. I love this idea of having the students taking the class to make something that they are interested in because we are the ones who work on everything behind the scenes. 

As a department, my team and I decided on the super cool idea of creating a catalog for people to look through and order candles from. This idea came up when we looked at the website and saw how it was a little messy and hard to navigate. This is something that has changed since I became the CTO, but we still want a way for all people to hear about and buy our candles. This catalog would include all of the different seasonal scents with short descriptions and beautiful pictures to get the customer interested in buying the right candle for them. It would also have an order form so people can place an order for one or more candles and they would get mailed directly to their house. This is something accessible for everyone to enjoy and use, but we all weren’t quite sure what needs to be in the catalog or how to create it. This week, instead of reading an article or listening to a podcast, I decided to look up and research successful catalogs to see what they have included in them.

The first thing that stood out to me was that all of that had the name of the company big and bold on the title page of the catalog. When looking through different catalogs, this was one of the main eye-catching points which means the designer did their job. Making the company name big is important so people can know without much effort who the catalog is by, and more or less what you will be looking at inside. One way to do this is to have your company name in bold letters, with a short mission statement or motto underneath. Logos are also important to have brand identity.

Another thing was they all made ordering really easy to do directly from the catalog. There were many different communications, including a free 800 number to call, website or mail-in form. Not surprisingly, mail-in form use is declining in use but should still be included in your catalog. Many buyers prefer to fill it out while looking through the catalog so they can keep track of things. The 800 number is useful for buyers with questions. List and highlight ordering options on every page or spread. This stood out to me because, although I didn’t purchase anything from the catalogs that I looked at, I easily could have with a few clicks. These are things I will look into and take into consideration while making the catalog in the next few weeks.

Promotions are a great way to get people interested. Having a 15% coupon from ordering from the catalog is a huge plus because so many orders will come in and those people will continue to order in the future. Other ways to promote are to guarantee 2-3 day shipping, spending $100 can get you a free, premium item, and buy before midnight and get a free wax melt. These are all great ways to keep people buying from the catalog and keeping our customers happy. Most of the catalogs I looked at had at least one of these features and they looked very appealing.

After looking at many different catalog examples, I have a lot of notes written down on how to make our catalog the best it can be. Good photography, design, and accessibility are the main takeaways I got from this and I will be sure to report to my team to make sure all of these make into the final product. I am really excited to make this innovation. Making something that all of our customers can use and share with their friends is a great way to expand and create more relationships with the people in our community.

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