The new year brought a new look for Aerosoles. The Edison, NJ-based manufacturer/marketer of shoes and accessories introduced its redesigned catalog with the January mailing of its first spring edition.
The company mailed 630,000 copies of the 36-page spring book to house file and rented names. Aerosoles took new photos of all its products and added lifestyle images and scenic shots, bringing the number of photos in the book to 94, almost triple the amount of last fall’s edition. The page layouts were redesigned as well. For instance, whereas the cover used to include one lifestyle image, it now shows product and lifestyle images in a gridlike format.
“We wanted to stay fresh, educate our customers about us, and use images that make an emotional connection while staying true to our brand,” says senior vice president of marketing Kimberley Grayson.
With the redesign, the company also wanted to create imagery that would be seen consistent across all channels — including its stores, its print ads, and the Internet. This is the first time that catalog photos were shot in conjunction with the Aerosoles print ad campaign, Grayson says. The new catalog also has a new trim size: 7-3/4″ wide × 5-1/4″ high, compared with 5-5/16″ wide × 9″ high previously.
Not only is the new size cheaper to mail, says creative director/director of marketing Melissa Merlino, but it also stands out in the mailbox. In fact, Aerosoles is so confident in the redesign that 40% of the January mailing went to prospects, up significantly from 5% for the January 2001 mailing. The company mails 12 times a year with a total annual circulation of 8.5 million.
NEW LOOK, NEW PRODUCTS
It’s fitting that Aerosoles’ catalog has a new look, since the company is rapidly expanding into new merchandise categories. For instance, Aerosoles first tested handbags as a product category with just two styles in its fall 2000 catalog. Since then, the company has expanded this offering with every new book; the first spring catalog offers about 15 styles of handbags. And with its 2001 holiday catalog, Aerosoles introduced socks, tights, and other legwear. Three styles of sunglasses were added to the first spring book this year, and a belt category will be launched in the second spring edition. Aerosoles is also considering adding hats and scarves to its product line.
The redesign and product expansion seem to be working. By mid-January the book was already running 8.5% ahead of its sales plan for the projected life of the book, says Bert Garris, vice president of the direct division, and sales per catalog are up 11.6% above plan.