The Beautiful and Powerful Hybrid of Magazine and Catalog

Has your catalog design been stagnant for too long? It might be time to consider a redesign, suggests this article in Small Business Rainmaker.

One of the most disappointing and frustrating experience that a customer faces is to come across a catalog that showcases products that are not available or are out of stock. Having outdated stock on your catalog can be a little misleading for your customers,” the article notes.

Outdated stock isn’t the only problem, of course. We don’t use catalogs the same way we used to, as product listings. Instead, the modern consumer wants something they can’t already find online to give them a reason to browse through and linger with your catalog.

A few years ago we spotted a definite trend in direct-to-consumer catalogs; they were more like magazines in the way they looked, and the kind of content they included. These new style catalogs are both smarter (driven by consumer data) and more economical (thanks to advances in printing and production capabilities). The result is a new iteration of the old direct mail standby that is innovative, less expensive and highly relevant to the recipient.

And while catalogs today are incredibly effective sales tools, they offer much more than a listing of products. They’ve evolved into an entirely new genre of publication, a brand lifestyle book that serves as a compelling storyboard for the brand’s products. They are designed to encourage lingering in our sound-bite age, which gives the audience time to build a relationship with your brand.

If it’s time to redo your brand’s catalog, Small Business Rainmaker offers these tips.

  1. Keep the design simple. “Too many images or typefaces can cause stress to the eyes and customers are sure to lose interest. This can cause you to miss out on potential sales. On the other hand, maintaining a simple yet aesthetic design with attractive images and font will keep the customer engaged. All in all, while designing a product catalog for your business, make sure that it connects with the customers.”
  2. Add key elements that stand out. “You could add a pop of color to make your page look trendy. Or you could make use of a full-page or half-page coverage just to display your highly-trending products. Your catalog should be capable of catching the eye. When customers go through your catalog with a lot of interest and sensory engagement, it increases the chances of them shopping from your online or offline store. Plus, designing a catalog that stands out is also a great way to enhance brand awareness,” the article advises.
  3. Consider a magazine/catalog hybrid. Consumers love to engage with a magazine that tells good stories. Savvy brands are creating catalogs that provide a similar experience, like King Arthur Flour’s Sift, or Land’s End’s stunning work wear catalog.

Your brand has a story to tell, and products to sell. When you can combine both into one beautiful publication, you start taking advantage of the true value of modern catalogs in the consumer mix.