Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Cover story

What would you say are the most important messages to convey on a catalogue’s front cover? Essential, in my opinion, are brief how-to-order details such as a telephone number and website URL.

Most catalogues then opt for including some sort of special offer or benefit, for example “100 new products!” or “Free delivery when you spend more than £50”.

Furniture retailer Furniture Village does all that—a prominent web address and a flash in the top-right corner informing customers they can save up to 50 percent in the Furniture Village sale. But here’s something I’ve not seen on a catalogue cover before: “all stores fully air-conditioned”.

Is this an important selling point? Does it imply that other furniture stores are uncomfortably stuffy? Would the lure of climate control sway a catalogue recipient who perhaps ultimately orders online?

It has been a while since I needed to buy a sofa, but I don’t recall air-conditioning helping me make a buying decision. It seems an odd choice for a cover line, but maybe Furniture Villages knows something we don’t and we’ll finally get the barbecue summer we’ve been promised.--MT

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