Given that it’s 2018, you might think we are cutting back on printing catalogues. After all, at over 200 full colour pages, they aren’t cheap to produce and, oh, by the way, hasn’t everyone stopped reading catalogues and is now buying everything they need online? Guess again. Far from having croaked, demand for our printed catalogues has never been greater and, according to most reports, we are not the exception. So, what’s going on? Here’s what I think are six reasons that catalogues are very much alive and kicking.
- Holding is believing. There is still something unique about holding a catalogue, feeling the texture of the paper and its weight in your hand. You can lick your finger to flip the pages and fold over the corners of the ones you want to remember to revisit. The catalogues that are dog-eared or well worn are clearly identified as the ones used most often. Also, casters and wheels are a high-touch business. There is no better way to understand the mechanics of a caster or appreciate its aesthetics than by holding it in your hand. The tactile nature of catalogues is a great complement to a tactile business.
- Catalogues add convenience. In most ways, catalogues are more convenient when sourcing casters. Every one of our caster series comes with a matrix of options – wheels, bearings, brakes, stems, etc. The end result is thousands of possible configurations per series. The reality is that it’s way easier to assimilate information by running your finger along a page in a catalogue and then using a pen or pencil to circle the specs that are most important. On top of that, it’s much easier to compare the features of different casters by flipping between pages in a catalogue than it is to flip between the pages of a website. Whether you’re a corporate engineer or a distributor trying to find the best caster for your customer, a printed catalogue has advantages that can’t be matched online.
- Catalogues are more personal. Our customers have told us that there are limits to the usefulness of a website and, at a certain point, they really want the option of having an in-depth conversation with one of our customer service reps. They want to be able to have a catalogue in hand as they work with a member of our team to find the right caster.
- Catalogues brand. The graphics, imagery and colours of a catalogue produce impressions that can’t possibly be re-created online. Print’s unique communication opportunity is why many companies are investing heavily in catalogues and, interestingly, Sears brought back its Christmas Wish Book having shelved it six years ago. Our catalogue makes an important statement about our values and priorities. It’s an important part of how we communicate our brand.
- Catalogues are reality. Not every one is living the life of an Apple ad, looking at messages on their watch, searching the web with their phone, sourcing products on their tablet, and making purchases on a laptop. In fact, there are millions of people who want to visit a showroom, touch and feel a caster and then leaf through a catalogue to find the configuration that best meets their requirement.
- Catalogues can be up to date. We are continuously updating our catalogue as new products and releases become available. Digital printing allows us to put the latest possible information into our customer’s hands giving them all the benefits of a printed catalogue combined with the latest information.
The first thing on my to do list after finishing this blog post, is to check on the status of a large run of our printed catalogues. Clearly, Algood and the caster industry aren’t saying farewell to the catalogue anytime in the foreseeable future.
What do you think?
Are printed catalogues an important part of your business? Do you rely on printed catalogues? I’d love to hear your thoughts.