In mid-September, Palo Alto, CA-based Hewlett-Packard mailed its first catalog since merging with Houston-based Compaq Computer Corp. in May. The 32-page book mailed to 2 million businesses from both companies’ databases.
Titled The Small and Medium-Business Solutions Guide, the catalog features only the HP logo on its cover. Copy inside the book, however, declares that the merger “brings together unique strengths that can help accelerate the growth of your business.” The copy- and chart-intensive catalog explains significant changes to the combined company’s new hybrid product line.
“The catalog reflects our road map of products that we identified would be carried over to the new organization from both companies premerger,” says HP spokesperson James Barnes. “We do have a dual brand strategy that includes both branded products, even though the overall company is HP.” While orders will be taken from an HP call center in Colorado Springs, CO, merchandise will be drop-shipped from numerous sites, Barnes says.
About half of the catalog recipients are authorized HP resellers. “We distribute the catalog to resellers to pass along to their end-user customers,” Barnes says. The rest of the recipients are businesses that requested HP or Compaq catalogs prior to the merger.
The quarterly catalog is also distributed as a means of raising market awareness, Barnes says. When HP comes out with other promotions, including e-commerce initiatives and ads in metropolitan dailies, business journals, and other publications serving small and midsize businesses, “the market will be seasoned,” he says.