Each year, The Cottura Catalog seems to get better. This year, judges are wowed right off the bat by the odd shape and the imaginative cover of this Silver Award-winning edition. “It’s great! It does what a cover should do: It grabs your attention and draws you in,” one judge opines. Another calls it “involving and bright.” Most note, however, that the name of the catalog and the positioning line-”ceramic art imports”-are too small, getting lost on the page.
But the real strength of The Cottura Catalog, the judges say, is its merchandising. The book stays true to its product positioning throughout. “It sells only what it claims to-Italian maiolica ceramics-and never stretches its concept the way so many other catalogers do,” one panelist declares. Another sums up, “For what Cottura does, it dominates.” Judges who had evaluated Cottura before also felt that the company had made noticeable improvements this year, such as expanding the product price points to make the merchandise line more attractive to a wider segment of the customer audience.
Cottura writes informative catalog copy to go along with its high-quality, unique line of product. Plus, “it’s very friendly and reflective of Italy,” one judge notes, pointing out the use of Italian in the headlines. While individual product copy is spare, Cottura shines in introducing “types” of merchandise, such as this description of its urn collection: “Urns were originally used for the storage of grain, wine, olives or oil. Capturing the essence of Italian tradition, our country urns turn a garden into a sanctuary.” But another panelist, while agreeing that much of the copy is well done, says that some of it “could use more benefits.” Still another, however, chimes in that the catalog “doesn’t really need more benefit. It puts all the important stuff at the top of each page.”
Cottura’s design and production are both strong, the judges agree. “This is a nice-looking catalog,” notes one panelist. “Even the spreads with a lot of products are typically well laid out and not too busy.”
The only significant fault found with this Silver winner is that service should be stronger. While the special customer requests service is “fabulous,” the firm’s claim of making big improvements to service isn’t sufficiently backed up. As one judge notes, “The returns policy comes across like a warning-it’s not friendly.”
But there’s nothing wrong with bringing home the Silver, Cottura. And we’re sure you’ll get even better by next year’s Awards competition! 1.