Paper catalogs back hard What do they want brands convey to the consumer?

Paper catalogs

Catalogs stores are one of the conquest consumer practices that are still used today to have a rather long history. The first attempts to catalog sales back to the fifteenth century, although, in fact, the boom of catalog sales is in the nineteenth century, when the consolidation of postal services and the boom of the railroad allowed quickly deliver purchases made consumers who could not be in the physical store catalogs leaving.

In fact, many of these catalog sales firms nineteenth century continued to operate during the twentieth century and some reached until the twenty-first century. The twentieth century remained an enabling environment for them and possibly everyone has in mind the time they left in the catalogs boxes of different brands of catalog sales, such as clothing firm Venca or book store time who worked as book club Ballantine Books.

Paper catalogs
Image Source: Google Image

But the arrival of the XXI century caused many of these services and many of these catalogs had less weight and less conquistasen consumers. At the end of the day, they were nothing more than a kind of internet shopping internet before and after the e-commerce reached households began to lose some sense. For example, Ballantine Books has faced in recent months the rumor mill (pointing that would close some of its subsidiaries) and ended up being sold at a much larger publishing group.

But not only sales catalogs were lucky and fell into decline, so did the catalog as a form of traditional mail marketing (ie, buzoneo). The catalog was an expense of printing input seemed that surpassed anything that could be done online and not always was received with interest by the user (beyond catalogs that are classic, almost, as the annual Ikea or the toys for Christmas), so its interest and appeal began to wane.

Until now… Because, surprisingly, the catalog again.

Although the catalog again does not mean to do it as it did in the past. The new catalogs, this emerging trend among companies that want to be Cools and fashion in the US, are not what they were before. Firms such as Anthropologie, American Girl, Pottery Barn or Patagonia are launching this new trend and recovering the paper catalog as a showcase and not only their products but also their brand values and what they want to convey to the consumer.

The last to announce that will retrieve the catalog is JCPenney, which has said it will publish a catalog of products for home again. The firm will announce five years after he left publishing to focus solely on the Internet, which is especially striking and accounts for the phenomenon. The catalog, as published in The Wall Street Journal , will have 120 pages and will hit US consumers in the next March, via traditional mail shots.

The most interesting of this resurrection is that the company does it as a formula to recover lost positions (their recent times have not been very good from an economic point of view) and because they have seen their starting position (leave the paper focus only on internet) they made them lose customers.

But they are not the only ones who have taken the step to recover or revitalize catalogs. Although consumers generally hate these formats (or say they hate), the fact is that according to a study by Kurt Salmon, 31% of them have with you when you buy online. That is, online shopping is also affected by what they receive on paper.

Therefore, brands always are giving a facelift.

The resurrection of the catalog

The figures for US distribution of catalogs and give a clue to the trend. After years of decline, the number of catalogs that Americans receive in their mailboxes (physical) have experienced a slight recovery in 2013 and, in line with what is going on, is not very safe to say that will live another in 2015 and when 2014 numbers have also seen an improvement.

Catalogs today are not like those of yesterday. Brands are betting on higher quality content (which could put the catalogs on the list of things the content marketing revolution). Firms tend images and photographs, which makes them much more careful, and take hold of items such as photos of wildlife to attract consumer attention, as explains The New York Times .

Catalogs are not simply tools to publicize the products, but have become elements that often want to be inspiring and arouse engagement with presentations and content that could be similar to those of a fashion magazine but actually they are a presentation of what the brand wants tosell. The catalogs have thus become closer to publications lifestyles, with large publishing photos of trends and the like, and content that emphasize elements such as what is going to take spaces, recipes or travel.

No more than take the case of the Anthropologie brand, which does not call his own catalog but daily. And Patagonia, as another example of another American brand that is recovering the catalog, instead of adding a new catalog to shipments of outgoing year sent its customers a catalog that was a magazine about falconry, where what was clearly messages purchase only occupied four final pages. And do not forget that in some of its campaigns, Ikea recalls that his catalog is not really such but rather a book.

Especially sellers who disdained the catalog forgot that there are still consumers who used to buy and continue to rely on them. According to figures from the American Catalog Mailers Association, 90 million Americans still buy catalog and spend about 850 million dollars annually in purchases made through a catalog.

The e-commerce also has catalog

And even firms which are only beginning to launch internet are paper catalogs to reach their consumers. Amazon launched a catalog of toys this Christmas, for example, and some consumer firms ecommerce presence only in the United States have been doing in recent years. “We found that the catalog allows us to have a full narrative about our brand and our products in a way that we are fighting for now , ” says one of those responsible for one of those brands to the Journal .

The trend has been marking the movements of some of the great ecommerce during 2014. “We love magazines and books, so I think it’s really important to take your brand to a physical space, ” he explains to AdWeek Ethan Trask, creative vice president One Kings Lane, flash sales firm has released a paper catalog. ” It helps people to be more active with our brand,” he adds. Some brands of ecommerce fashion, such as the influential Net-a-Porter, have even launched their own bi-monthly fashion magazines ( by signing big names in the sector so that direct).

The key is that thus get ahead of trends and also draw the attention of consumers in a more permanent basis, or more powerful, because it is a claim that manages to attract attention in a different way. The price of producing a catalog is not as expensive (according to the Journal, comes a dollar a printed catalog) and its return is therefore quite high. Buyers also spend them enough time (some studies say that 15 to 20 minutes per catalog) as to fester further investment.

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