Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Drowning in Catalogs

 Sampling of one days worth of catalog delivery
In my daily mail there is an inordinate amount of catalogs. I'm sure my postman hates me. I receive the usual catalogs from companies trying to sell me boxes, packaging material and jewelry store do dads, but I also receive a lot of fashion accessory and clothing catalogs. The shop by catalog method is probably more popular than on-line shopping. Nowadays even E-Bay is advertising on television regarding the ease and store like aspects of their site. These ads are trying to make E-Bay look like an on-line store and less like an auction site. What’s next, a catalog?

I wouldn’t be bringing catalogs up unless I was considering putting one together. My business includes the use of private sales and trunk shows. While a business card or flyer passed out during a trunk show is quite helpful, there is something about taking a catalog with pictures and pricing that is handy. I received a beautiful catalog from David Yurman the other day and I have to admit, it was fabulous. Artful photography, tasteful descriptions and of course, really nice printing and paper, actually it was card stock, very thick. It was a very impressive catalog, one that I will keep, along with my catalogs from Cartier.

 Latest David Yurman catalog

This hoarding of a nice catalog is what we want our customers to do, keep it for later reference. Now this is the hard part. How do you put together a jewelry catalog that a customer will keep? A catalog by its very nature is an announcement of new products or is seasonal. This gives it an inherent disposable quality. Of course one of the pros for this type of catalog is the cost which can be relatively affordable.

Putting together a more expensive and professional catalog can increase the likelihood that the catalog itself will have a long life, but you can increase the cost dramatically. Here in lies my dilemma. Without having any concrete evidence that would suggest I’m making the correct marketing choice by investing in a catalog, will these be well spent advertising dollars? Is having a catalog even necessary when you have a website? The items that are available on my website would probably far exceed the number of items I could put in a catalog. This would lead to picking and choosing which items should be featured. Not necessarily a good thing.

For now I’m going to continue to think about the catalog thing and maybe get a quote or two from some local printers. While a catalog is not essential to my business it certainly would jazz things up a bit.

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