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While they might serve multiple functions, don’t forget that catalogs are a great marketing tool for a variety of reasons. If your catalog is just showing people products to buy, then you aren’t getting the most out of your printed catalogs.
When designing and printing catalogs, provide emphasis on the right products, have layouts that are interesting and thus, keep someone wanting to read. The products might be the showcase, but they aren’t the only thing people are going to be interested in.
The perfect catalog is the kind that not only provides people with a detailed list of a large pool of products, but also does so in a unique and entertaining way. You want your catalog to be interesting no matter what products are being sold. Make someone want to flip through it simply to see what you’ve done, the designs you’ve used, the positioning the products have.
But this is a very hard thing to do. Good layout isn’t easy to create and can take a lot of both time and money to get right. The good news is once you’ve come up with an initial layout that works, you can create catalog templates in order to keep using it. All it takes is a little planning ahead before your first major catalog project to get your first working template up and running.
This is without a doubt the best way to get the most out of your catalogs. Most of the companies I see making good use of catalogs do so by continuously releasing them. Sometimes this is as much as once a month, and sometimes as little as once a year.
The great catalogs are the ones that had a lot of design work go into them. This is simply the only way to get that first catalog going, but once you’ve done the leg work the first time, you can do minor tweaks in order to reuse the same catalog templates again for your future work.
If you’re only releasing one once a year this will work great to save you time and money on all future catalogs sent out. For those releasing them more often, such as quarterly or even once a month, you might create three or four different catalog templates to alternate between, each with its own distinctive look. This way you can maintain variety while gaining the benefits of a template.
No matter how big or small your company is everyone likes to save money. You can’t get the best catalog without putting a lot of time into it, but you can get the most out of that time. All it takes is a few changes in the color scheme, the products being presented, and other minor alterations to make a design look new again.
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