Politics and Business
Producing A Product Catalog And What To Include
Product catalogs haven’t gone out of fashion but they are rarer than they once were. They can still be found in certain places and on certain occasions. Product catalogs are great for business exhibitions, for when clients don’t have time to stop and chat but want to know the specifics of your product line. They are great for product launch events, showcasing all your hardware to clients, media, customers and investors. Product catalogs also come in handy for premium products, such as real estate, jewelry, auctions of antiques and so on. So whether you are a small or large business, a product catalog can come in handy for you. So how do you produce one and what should you include in it?
The first meeting
Whenever something like a product catalog is first put on the table, there has to be a large meeting. This is because, once your catalog is printed or distributed online, you can’t really take it back. So any mistakes you made in the spelling or products, any poor photographs, any incorrect ordering information and perhaps other issues, you cannot fix. It’s not like a product whereby you can recall them all. Technically you could, but the damage has already been done and it’s not as if people who bought your catalog are going to return their copy or buy a new one.
So the executive meeting has to involve all managers, team leaders and the various teams that will be taking part in the production. This means marketing, sales and PR, they all need to be on board with ideas, solutions to issues etc.
The things to include
A product catalog is not unlike the website you have. The products will be shown in their best light with great photographs, their specific details i.e. specifications and features of each product will be included. However, the product catalog is more personal, for the affluent buyer or investor. So you want to include the backstory of the product, the tail of how it came to be, the ideas behind it and other various niche pieces of information such as where the materials are sourced, how long it takes to make one, the design changes that have been done; it’s general evolution.
You should also include the price. Make sure it’s clear for all to see. It should also have various information about tax, VAT (if applicable), warranty, etc. Make sure that any package deals are noted, i.e. if you sell tools, a certain drill if bought, would give another piece of equipment a discount price. Package deals, discounts and sales, should all be included in the catalog.
The aesthetics of the catalog
The look of the catalog is everything. Repeat, it is everything! It has to shine. Catalogs are supposed to be premium content that affluent buyers want to have on their coffee table. Let’s be honest, the product catalog of Prada, Mercedes and Apple are going to be something that the affluent buyer wants to have on their dining room table, coffee table, foyer area, etc. these kinds of catalogs are incredibly beautiful, showcase the best of the brand and what they have to offer, and plus, they just act as a status symbol that some people want. So make sure your photos are incredibly well done. The lighting, angles, color schemes, tones, editing, have to be perfect. Don’t get too artsy, remember it’s a practical item too. Use an inkjet digital press for the highest quality possible and the best finish. Product catalogs can be printed on gloss paper, meaning they will reflect light very well, feel smooth to the touch and just have their upper echelon mood about them.
Contact information for purchasing
Product catalogs will have ordering information right from the very beginning. It’s not hard to put this into writing, depending on your actual purchasing process for clients. The catalog should have a product number for every product, a specific catalog purchasing phone line or email address, and various details such as delivery charges and exclusive purchasing offers or deals from the catalog to be spoken or mentioned in the contact. Put this contacting information and procedure clearly at the beginning of the catalog and make it simple to adhere to.
Product catalogs are great fun to make and it’s something that many premium brands still do for their clients and customers. Make sure you have all of these things checked before you go to print and finalize your catalog for ordering.