When running a business, developing brand awareness plays an essential part in building your corporate identity. Customers must know how your business functions, what you can offer them, and why there is a need for your services. The way you present your products and services to your market can affect how a customer perceives your company as well. With this in mind, it’s important for a business to produce the right marketing mediums for such. One way of doing so is through the use of a catalog.
The world of fashion is a fast-growing industry that changes ever so often. With trends coming in and out at a quick pace, businesses scramble to come up with the best fashion collections for consumers to enjoy. However, standing out from the competition can be quite a challenge, so companies must strive to make their presence known through a good marketing plan. Fortunately, with the help of a well-crafted fashion catalog, it’s easier for customers to identify what a particular brand has in store for them.
A fashion catalog also referred to as a fashion lookbook, is a collection of well-styled images used to sell a particular product or brand. It is a creative way to showcase the overall essence of a given brand by conveying a message for a specific audience to take in. Similar to a product catalog, a fashion catalog features a wide selection of apparel that a brand specializes in. These are typically showcased through images of models wearing the fashion pieces, in order to give prospects an idea of how it looks when worn. But since the fashion world flows with creativity and design, the catalog must give justice to the extravagant industry it is a part of, along with the brand it represents.
Why should brands have one?
If you look at a catalog, you’ll realize how it’s no different from the average company brochure and advertising flyer. It serves as the perfect marketing tool to engage target customers with exciting new releases and collections for the season. Since catalogs typically reflect a particular theme, using it as a medium for communication proves to be effective. It allows companies to highlight their products and services offered to potential customers to focus on. Although fashion catalogs usually come in a printed material, various software tools have allowed businesses to expand the use of such through digital catalogs.
How can customers benefit from it?
A fashion catalog is beneficial to the everyday consumer in different ways. For one thing, it can be both informative and inspirational. Customers can look through the catalog to find what they may need without having to go to the actual store to find it. This also allows one to set a personal budget before having to purchase the given item. This can also be useful in gathering gift ideas for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. If you experience any trouble in deciding what to pair the item with or how it should be worn, you can always look through the images of these ensembles for inspiration. Some fashion catalogs even provide special style tips to guide its readers. This can help you create a deeper connection with your audience, without spending the big bucks on TV commercials and the like.
Considering how catalogs may be used as an introduction to your brand’s upcoming or released products and services, it must be tailored in such a way that conveys your brand’s image. To do so, it is necessary for designers to come up with a good marketing strategy by understanding the role of the basic elements of a catalog design.
Front cover – A catalog functions like the typical kind of magazine you find sitting on a store rack. If something on the cover catches your eye, you’re bound to pick it up to feed your own curiosity. That being said, the front cover of your magazine must be visually appealing enough to draw attention. It should feature the company name, as well as a glimpse of what it has in store for its readers. But try to keep it as minimal as possible, as you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with information that’s difficult to grasp at first glance.
Back cover – Unfortunately, the back cover of reading journals are often neglected by designers due to the misconception of it being the least important part of the material. But a back cover is just as significant as the front cover, as you could still take advantage of it by featuring new products for customers to see. You may even showcase some of your major offerings for emphasis. But like the front cover, avoid adding too much information.
Upper Right-Hand Corner – The layout of each page is a common factor that designers often miss. If there’s one part to take notice of, it has to be the upper right-hand corner of a bi-fold spread. Every time a page is turned, this corner is the first thing that comes into view. So, it’s important to use the area for features that are strong and compelling enough to make an impression. While it doesn’t need to be your best-selling items, anything that you’re “pushing” to sell can take the spot perfectly.
Brand image – Think of your catalog as your logo design. It must be unique enough to set you apart from competitors, yet consistent in representing the overall look and feel of your brand. Strong branding is essential in design, whether this goes for product packaging or digital marketing, especially if you want to be recognized by your specified market. To do so, you must come up with a distinguishable image for consumers to remember. This creates familiarity, making it a lot easier for customers to know what they’re seeing before opening your catalog.
Color and typefaces – Colored catalogs are considered to be absolute attention-grabbers. While you don’t necessarily need to shower the catalog with the colors of the rainbow, setting an attractive color scheme is enough to spark emotions. It’s also best to use the right typeface, as a readable catalog is essential in keeping people interested. Avoid using too many typefaces (no more than three fonts will do) and choose an appropriate type size. After all, you don’t want to distract a reader from your main subject because of conflicting types.
Store items – The primary purpose of a catalog is to market goods and services to an audience. It serves as the force that drives consumers to make a purchase. Knowing this, it would only make sense for a business to showcase their offerings on full display. This includes an image of the given product, its retail price, and a short description to support it. Product description must possess all the necessary details a buyer needs to know about. Items are typically grouped into specific categories to keep the catalog organized as well. The focus must be on the products and not on the models or subjects carrying them, as this can sometimes serve as a distraction.
Order form – Although online ordering is abundant and preferable these days, that doesn’t mean you can’t make use of order forms anymore. This is a great way to encourage a sale in a subtle manner. Not only does this allow customers to work out every single detail of their orders properly, but this also gives you the opportunity to list company terms and conditions, return policies, and other relevant information for buyers to understand.
Catalogs are one of the most powerful advertising vehicles used to reach out to an audience. Companies typically send them out through mail or distribute them to potential customers face-to-face. But when it comes to marketing, the design of your medium can make a huge impact. So, where do you start? To help you out, here are a few tips on how you can create a good catalog design:
Think of your audience. One of the secrets to the success of a catalog design is to make it appeal to various lifestyles. You see, imagery plays a role in visual communication. If your catalog design is something that they could relate to, it can immediately leave an impression to a reader. But in doing so, you must be able to develop a deeper understanding of what drives your target audience first. You have to allow a person to imagine oneself using the products featured on your catalog. For example, if you’re releasing a winter collection for your clothing brand, then you might want to picture out people in their everyday lives, such as going on vacation for the holidays, visiting family and friends on thanksgiving, and celebrating New Year’s Eve with a loved one. This can help customers understand why your products could be of great use for them.
Select a size and format. Believe it or not, but the size and format of your catalog can actually make a difference. Every single aspect of your catalog design plays an important role in its general purpose. For instance, anything from the page count to the layout of your catalog can affect how your customers feel. The goal is to make your customers linger on a page long enough for them to fully take in every significant detail. The print of your catalog must also be of excellent quality, where good color pay-off and clarity are of concern. It’s also important to refrain from adding any irrelevant details to your catalog, as this may only cause a reader to flip the page.
Use high-quality photos. The products and services offered by a brand are seen as the centerpiece of a catalog. Because of this, using high-quality images is essential to portraying its value. It’s about impressing viewers with professionally-captured images of your goods. This says a lot about your brand, so you need to make sure that every shot is taken with good lighting and background choice. This can help make a product appear even more enticing, which can then lead to an increase in sales. It’s also good to pay close attention to the resolution of these images, as you would want to avoid any pixelated or distorted images from gracing the pages of your catalog.
Focus on selling a product. Sell. That’s all that matters when it comes to a catalog design. The product itself should be above every other design element present in the catalog. This means giving customers a good reason to purchase a certain item and helping them understand how it could make one’s life a lot better. Everything else should serve as a support system to make a product look good for customers to purchase. Keep in mind that the manner in which you portray these products can make a difference in its market performance.
Analyze market feedback. Once you are finished with your catalog, it’s now time to evaluate the results. Which product did well? Where is it located in the catalog? Did you see a boost in sales or not? It would also be best to gain feedback directly from your audience. This will help you determine the strong and weak points of your catalog design. And once you are able to assess the outcomes carefully, you’ll know exactly what to do for your next catalog design.
Designing a catalog isn’t a quick and simple task. It involves a crucial process of analyzing, designing, and testing in an attempt to build a stronger connection with the average consumer. And while it may seem intimidating to accomplish, with the right outlook and understanding in catalog design, it can be one of the best marketing tools that any business can use. You’ll have customers coming back for more in no time!