Catalog and Direct Selling: Sell a Concept
How Do You Sell an Item as a Part of a Concept?
Always refer back to your merchandise concept. For example, New Life Systems, a B-to-B provider of spa products, uses the tagline, “Spa and Salon Essentials to Grow Your Business.” Throughout its catalog, each product is positioned to prove that concept through copy, photography and editorial sidebars.
Another example is the Plow & Hearth catalog. Many of its spreads showcase a hero product, such as “all-weather eucalyptus outdoor furniture,” with engaging photography to present an “experience” customers can see themselves living in. While the primary product is given hero status with spread headlines and more space, it sells other products that complement the furniture, like a wine bucket and a jute rug. Suddenly, these products fit into a thematic spread that promotes Plow & Hearth’s concept of a lifestyle experience.
It doesn’t matter what you sell—any item can become a part of a merchandise concept as long as your creative team understands your concept and is able to craft each product or service into a unique component of an engaging experience. Selling an item will capture behavior, but selling a concept will capture a customer’s heart.
Lois Boyle is president and chief creative officer of J. Schmid & Associates, Mission, Kan. You can reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.