Lab Safety Supply, Spill Cleanup Direct, Spring/Summer 1999

As Sesame Street’s Ernie might sing: Rubber ducky, you’re the one – for Lab Safety’s catalog cover, that is. Nearly all the judges raved about the cover’s image of a rubber duck floating in a puddle of oil. “It’s an effective use of imagery to convey the catalog’s mission,” said one. While one panelist thought the cover was “vague,” the others felt the tag line, “When you have more at risk than a rubber duck, call the #1 spill cleanup source,” made the message clear.

But saving Ernie’s favorite bath toy is not Lab Safety’s only goal. The catalog’s design and merchandise selection “reinforces Spill Cleanup’s positioning as an authority on cleanup, personal protection, and storage and handling,” noted a judge. Indeed, several panelists praised the company’s wide range of products. “The depth of this catalog’s merchandising is outstanding,” said one. The book features “targeted product offerings that are easy to follow,” added another.

And though the catalog is full of product, it’s not cluttered, said a judge. What’s more, “the well-organized and easy-to-read page layouts create a feeling of confidence in whom I’m dealing with.”

The judges also liked the book’s overall marketing strategy. “Each section has its own editorial spread with helpful tech tips and a mini table of contents,” said one. “It projects an image of professionalism and product expertise.”

As for the product copy, “it does a good job communicating the features and benefits,” said a panelist. Another judge added, “I love the succinct bullet points that explain what each product does.” But one judge complained that the catalog’s prices could be a little more readable: “The prices are printed in very small type – it’s distracting.”

Lab Safety’s credibility remains consistent all the way through to the catalog’s customer service. Complete with fast shipping, toll-free numbers, product support, and guarantees, Lab Safety’s customer service is “rock solid.” As one judge said, this Silver winner proves that “industrial b-to-b catalogs can create an effective, personable shopping experience.” Another judge agreed: “The catalog presents itself as a reliable and friendly company to deal with.”

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