WearGuard, 1999 Special Heroes Edition

In a word, the cover of WearGuard’s 1999 Special Heroes Edition is “fabulous,” according to one judge. By honoring exceptional working people, this Silver Award-winning catalog “makes a connection in the strongest sense with its customers,” the judge added. And the back cover, which features a 1998 “special hero” modeling a parka, is also appealing to customers.

The cataloger devotes the opening spread, along with a gatefold, to mini-profiles of its six special heroes for 1999. “It’s brilliant how WearGuard embraces and applauds its customers,” said a judge. This type of attention “makes the blue-collar worker feel awfully proud.”

WearGuard is hardly just about warm and fuzzy worker profiles, however. Inside, this catalog is hard-selling. Layouts and photos draw the reader into product features, while call-outs emphasize low prices. “WearGuard is obviously proud of its prices,” a judge noted. And the emphasis on price is bound to appeal to the target audience of companies buying employee uniforms.

Another judge pointed out that the clothing is loaded with special features, which are demonstrated by fabric swatches, close-ups, selection guides, and more call-outs. Also, headlines that sell, bullet points, and product feature inserts give customers an appreciation of the product quality.

WearGuard scored high marks for its services, which include multiple design and customization capabilities; the company also has an unlimited return policy, even if products are custom-embroidered or screen-printed. “The guarantee of customer product satisfaction and the promotion of the workwear experts within the catalog are the strongest service elements,” said one judge.

The judges did have a few nitpicks about the catalog. For instance, the eye flow is choppy in some places. Also, the catalog is broken out into different sections – such as uniforms, knit shirts, and outerwear – which are identified by color-coded borders. This is a nice touch, the judges agreed, but the fact that page numbers start all over again with each new section can be confusing.

Still, WearGuard proves with this edition that it is one savvy catalog marketer. The company even inserts a blow-in postcard asking for customers’ e-mail addresses – a good move for a business marketer. As one judge comments, “There are brains behind this catalog. This is a marketing and selling tool that uses every opportunity to connect with the market and sell to the customer.”

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