You might not put a lot of thought into your product or service catalogue. After all, it’s just a fancy price list, and you probably don’t think it will make any conversions. Since the average person spends most of their time reading online, you might have convinced yourself that nobody will even read it. You’d rather put your efforts into direct marketing.
However, if you know anything about the human psyche, you know why rumours have so much power. People will often believe what they hear behind your back. In fact, they’ll believe it more than what you tell them face to face. In this scenario, your catalogue speaks on your behalf. It’s your brand voice when you’re not in the room.
And since you’re not present to defend yourself, explain your vision, or elaborate your catalogue decisions, your customers will draw their conclusions and run with them. That’s why you want your business collateral to make the right impression. Because whatever that image is, it’s likely to stick.
It says a lot about your brand
Your catalogue lists your products and services so that your potential customers know what they can expect from you. But it sends a far deeper message than dollars and cents. A cheap catalogue implies a lack of interest in customers. After all, this is a printed version of your elevator pitch, so if you don’t put much effort in it, it shows your customers you don’t care.
On the other hand, a well-designed catalogue displays an attention to detail. It tells your buyers that you are focused on quality, which means your products and services will be equally pored over to ensure maximum efficacy and functionality. This builds trust in your customers and creates a stable image of your brand in their mind’s eye.
A well-designed brochure shows that your brand cares about itself, and about its customers. It paints you as a professional entity that is an expert in its field, building credibility. Conversely, skimping on your catalogue tells your customer you’re all about the bottom line and suggests you might be willing to sacrifice product quality for profit as well.
It helps you win customers
For many customers, your catalogue is the first place they will encounter you. And your catalogue design will deeply influence how they view you. There are two reasons why a customer would pick up a catalogue. One, they already know about you, so they are looking for something specific, or cross-checking the price of something they’d like to purchase.
Two, it catches their eye in passing, and they pick it up for a closer look. This second type of customer is essentially window shopping. If you don’t hold their attention and get them to flip a few more pages, you could lose a potential sale. Use your catalogue to imprint yourself in their memory. Even if they’re not buying; they’ll remember you next time they shop.
Customers see hundreds of catalogues every day. In waiting rooms, at the bus station, in the pharmacy, everywhere. Your catalogue needs to be the one they pick, and the one they keep when they throw others away. Quality design helps them make that decision.
It highlights key points
Have you heard of the supermarket principle? When pricing an item, many grocery stores will give you three items, just like Goldilocks. One item will be quite pricey, to appeal to image-oriented shoppers. The other will be very cheap, for the budget buyers.
The third will be priced in the middle, for shoppers who view themselves as ‘smart and fair.’ This middle range often has the largest profit margin and is deliberately priced to catch your eye. Similarly, items with good margins will be placed at eye level, while cheaper ones will be too low or high to spot casually.
Your catalogue is a printed shop front, and you can use smart design to draw the customer’s eye exactly where you want it. The use of colour, font, call-out boxes, and other design elements will help your clients pay extra attention to offers, discounts, or that high-margin product you’d like them to invest in.
It saves you money
You might think a catalogue is a wasted expense. After all, you print a new one every season, so it doesn’t seem worth the cost. However, some of those catalogues end up at beauty salons, car washes, and other locations where they will be read and reread for years.
If you design a stylish, fresh, innovative issue, it will continue to bring you new customers years after its initial print run. After all, if a prospect sees a five-year-old catalogue and is impressed, they will seek you out to buy your current product line, which means you’re getting returns from the initial publication with no additional marketing spend.
As you browse your local store today, look at some of the catalogues on offer. Examine what they’re doing right or wrong, and how they caught your attention, to begin with. Then apply these lessons to develop your own eye-catching, attention-holding, sales-prompting version.