Priorities, Winter ’98

Take back the quality of your life, the Priorities catalog proclaims to allergy and asthma sufferers. And with its well-presented array of merchandise to relieve the symptoms of allergies and asthma, the Silver Award-winning Priorities is perfectly positioned to help its customers do just that.

Priorities does “an excellent job of pulling together relevant, targeted, and hard-to-find merchandise for this audience,” one judge says. With such items as hypoallergenic down comforters, earth-friendly household cleaners, and mildew-resistant shower curtains, the catalog sells some 70 products to help consumers safeguard their homes against allergens, asthma triggers, and chemical toxins. But all of the judges express concern about the book’s ability to source enough new products. “What is available is excellent, but we need more selection,” a panelist notes.

The judging panel agrees that copy is Priorities’ strong point. “It’s informative but not clinical; it gradually convinces you of the need to own the merchandise,” says one judge. Another panelist adds, “The copy very clearly and succinctly explains the product’s features and benefits to help asthma sufferers understand how this item can help relieve their pain.” The catalog also makes great use of headlines-the headline for a window guard, for example, exclaims, “Filter pollutants out, let fresh air in.”

Priorities also excels in design and production by using understated color illustrations to soften its somewhat institutional product line. The design combines “very high production values, including a 70-lb. paper stock, with an earthy, organic feel,” raves one judge, while another cites the light-to-moderate product density and organized copy as “very pleasing and easy to shop from.” But it’s the editorial copy alongside many of the pages that drives home the mission of this book, says another judge: “If you buy these products, you’ll breathe easier and live better than you do right now.”

Indeed, Priorities provides substantial value-added information to customers at no extra charge, including a four-page allergy relief guide in the middle of the book to help readers create an allergen-free home. Its commitment to customer service is demonstrated by an unlimited guarantee and a price protection policy.

Overall, Priorities has created a key opportunity by targeting a relatively unaddressed niche, a judge points out. The catalog’s stated mission is to be seen as the brand and market leader in the allergy products field, and as the judge says, “it’s well on its way.”

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