Chicago–The New Life Systems catalog is a testament to the power of creative. Despite mailing on Sept. 15–a scant four days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington–the redesigned book led to an increase in sales for the marketer of products for spas and wellness facilities.
New Life owner Allan Share discussed his catalog’s redesign Monday in a session at the Annual Catalog Conference entitled Creative Testing and Catalog Makeovers, part of the daylong intensive program devoted to catalog creative. The conference is cosponsored by CATALOG AGE and the Direct Marketing Association.
Prior to the redesign, which New Life undertook with the help of a full-service agency, the catalog looked like that of many of the company’s competitors, Share admitted. To differentiate New Life, the creative team opted for a color palette reflecting the coral and teal packaging of the company’s proprietary Lotus Touch brand of spa lotions and treatments. The cover of the redesigned edition and a subsequent book featured backgrounds in those two colors, along with layouts that reflected the curves of the flower that is the Lotus Touch icon.
The backgrounds of product shots within the catalog were modified as well. In one instance, Share said, changing the background of a shot of eybrow and eyelash tints from a dark gray to teal increased sales of those products from $1,000 a month to more than $5,000 a month. Other creative changes included adding lists of best-selling products and educational editorial; feedback from customers had showed that they looked to the catalog as a resource for information as well as product.
New Life’s agency also urged Share to raise the prices of its products to improve the cataloger’s margins. Initially reluctant, Share was eventually persuaded to increase prices 5%. Response did not suffer as a result–which Share attributed in part to the redesign’s increasing the perceived value of the products. In fact, in the eight months since mailing the initial redesigned book, Share said, sales have increased each month.