Traffic Driver: L.L. Bean

Jun 01, 2011 9:30 PM  By

SILVER: Catalog Channel

L.L. Bean, Holiday Web 2010

You might think that a venerable, old-school brand like L.L. Bean would be a laggard when it comes to maximizing a relatively new channel like the web. But with its Holiday 2010 traffic-driver catalog, Bean shows that it can leverage the synergies between print and online as well as, if not better than, most younger brands.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: The judges appreciated that in most ways, this traffic driver resembled a typical, and typically excellent, Bean catalog — only writ small. This 56-page catalog had “the usual assortment of excellent merchandise that drives L.L. Bean sales,” noted a judge.

“For the most part the mailing can function as a catalog, but in places there is not sufficient information to make a purchasing decision — which is all according to plan!” another judge said. “The marvelously dense ‘Gifts Under $X’ pages are meant to drive you to the web to make those final decisions.”

As if that weren’t enough to drive readers to Bean’s website, just about every spread featured callout reminders that they could find more customer reviews, product-related videos, and even more merchandise online or via mobile. Additional snipes and graphics pointed out value pricing.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: One judge questioned giving over the center spread to slippers when the front cover and an opening spread focused on slippers as well. The panelist felt that some of the real estate would have been better used promoting other items from Bean’s expansive range. — SC