Business Specialty Products

Sep 01, 2009 9:30 PM  By

SILVER: Print Channel

L.L. Bean, Direct to Business, Holiday 2008

The venerable L.L. Bean is a legend when it comes to consumer catalog marketing. The outdoor gear and apparel merchant is also making quite a splash in the business-to-business market with this Silver-Award-winning holiday catalog.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: L.L. Bean has selected a nice cross-section of its huge product line for b-to-b personalization, said one judge. “Apparel is conservative, which I would expect is a good match for the corporate buyer.” In fact, said another panelist, “I would show clothing on the cover,” rather than the personalized canvas totebag featured, “since that is the thrust of the catalog.”

Then there’s Bean’s high service standards. On the inside front cover, is the order form, and in multiple locations inside the book, “Bean finds ways to make it look easy to order personalized products,” said one judge .

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: Judges were not in love with the covers. Both front and back photos are dark and murky, pointed out a panelist. “The apparel on the back cover lacked detail because of this.” — MD

Designer: Vivian Page

Creative directors: Jenna Klein Jonsson, Marcia Minter

Associate creative director: Christopher Seid

Marketing director: Nancy Dynan-Fischman

Print/production director: Jason Kendeigh

Merchandiser: Amy Steenstra

Copywriter: Kristen Stewart

Art directors: Betty Fuller, Greg Gorman

Printer/color separator/prepress provider: Quad Graphics

List broker: MeritDirect

Next Page: Tessco Technologies

SILVER: Print Channel

Tessco Technologies, The Wireless Guide, Vol. 27

At 1,634 pages, you would not want to drop Tessco Technologies’ Wireless Guide on your foot. But if you build, operate or use wireless systems, you will eat up every word of this catalog.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: Copy is indeed a high point. You might expect the copy for such a technical line to be features and specs only, noted one judge, but much of it is benefit-oriented.

“You could learn a ton about these products just by reading the copy and related charts and diagrams,” the judge said. “I would guess that readers — even engineers — get an education from sections of this book.”

In a catalog of this size, ease of use and navigation tend to take priority over beauty and glamour. But Tessco expertly guides you to the right product, using detailed indexes and tabs, a panelist said. Clear photos, illustrations and charts then help you make a decision.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: The back cover, which promotes Tessco’s services, fell flat — one panelist said it resembles a Powerpoint slide in a sales meeting. It looks professional, the judge said, “but makes you want to run away.” — MD

Director/print/production: Glenn Wells

Designers: Patrick Gotwalt, Jennifer Rados, Susan Shirlig

Creative director: Wendy Delawder

Marketing director: Steven Lehukey

Merchandiser/publishing systems manager: Thomas Throckmorton

Copywriter: Jamie Holloway

Photographer: Patrick Gotwalt

Printer: Transcontinental Interglobe

List manager: Brea Fahey

Next Page: Epromos.com

SILVER: Web Channel

Epromos.com

Need a couple thousand pens for a tradeshow? You want them to have rubber grips, and they need to have green ink and enough room for a logo and three lines of text? No problem — look no further than Epromos.com.

WHY IT WON A SILVER AWARD: Epromos boasts a tremendous number of SKUs, yet the site is manageable because of extensive filtering. What’s more, the text is loaded with keyword-rich copy, so shoppers have a better chance of finding the desired product.

The site is designed to fit the needs of its target audience — especially in its handling of customization. Additional resources such as a blog, case studies and articles make this site more than an online order form.

WHY IT DIDN’T WIN A GOLD AWARD: The ordering process could be streamlined, and Epromos needs to be far more aggressive about getting shoppers to put items into the cart. Removing items from the cart is a frustrating process — one judge gave up and abandoned it — and the cart could also use a “continue shopping” button. — TP

Marketing director/search engine marketing/merchandiser/copywriter: Mark Yokoyama

Creative director: Jason Robbins

Webmaster: Paul Capel

Photographer: James Alcorn

Website designers: Jason Robbins, Mark Yokoyama

Consultants: Renae Gregoire, Yev Zakharov