Shopping online is fast and easy, why waste time reading a catalog? Right?
The fact is that by combining catalog and online channels, businesses generate more sales and have higher customer retention. While there are many ways to market using catalogs, there are two main approaches:
Catalogues that focus on products and catalogues that focus on brand and product storytelling.
These two approaches are VERY different and the product photography required for each approach is VERY different.
Approach #1: Catalogs that focus on products
This catalog simply displays the products in print much like they do online. The products are segmented into product category groups, and they are displayed with brief descriptions, product images, and prices. The catalog and website look similar. The main goal of these catalogs is to get the consumers to place their order over the phone or online. Here is considerable overlap between the product images used in the catalog and those used online. As the product images are similar, businesses that publish these types of catalogs can save time and money combining catalog and online photography projects.
Approach #2: Catalogs that focus on brand and product storytelling
This catalog is focused on telling product stories and reinforcing your brand in the mind of the reader. Each product category section will have lifestyle or set images with product narratives, descriptions, and images. Often each section will only show a subset of the total products in the category. These catalogs have 2 main goals: to get readers to go from the catalog to online for further product research, comparison, and eventually purchase, and to build the brand image, retain the customer, and generate repeat purchases. Impact on product photography: Because this approach to catalog marketing is strongly focused on branding and storytelling some of the product images may not work well online. However, there can be some overlap with other images.
How can catalog and online photography work together?
Consumers that read catalogs tend to buy more online compared to online-only consumers. So, get the two groups together to discuss the overall goals of the project, the logistics and resources involved, the product categories that need photography, and the product category themes. Bringing the groups together ensures that everyone is on the same page and that everyone buys into the program.