Hero Arts Rubber Stamp, 1998 Resource Catalog

One judge describes the cover as merely “sufficient.” Another judge complains that “some pages are very busy and difficult to follow. The copy is too small to read in some areas, and the product lines could be identified better.” Yet another says, “The order form could be made easier. And why are returns subject to a 15% restock charge if it may not be the customer’s fault?”

Why, then, do these same panelists feel that the Hero Arts Rubber Stamp catalog deserves a Silver Award? Let’s have one of the judges explain: “The catalog features a merchandise mix ideally suited to the target market, and it presents the company as the premiere resource for this category of trade.”

Clearly, if you’re a retailer in the market for rubber stamps, Hero Arts is your source. The breadth of stamps and related supplies is staggering: From alphabet sets to deluxe gift sets, from stamps especially for teachers to holiday-themed stamps, from pigments to papers, from glitter to scissors, Hero Arts sells them all.

And as part of that sell, the catalog copy “conveys ideas to the customer on different ways to use the same piece of merchandise,” a panelist says. Take the copy accompanying a spread of Hero Arts’ Tiny Stamps: “Their precise detail and whimsical nature delight everyone. Teachers love to use them on incentive charts. They’re also great for marking dates on calendars, decorating orders, or stamping randomly over a page.”

Elsewhere, the copy offers direct selling suggestions to retailers: “Open up a package of these wonderful papers in your store to show the mixture of textures and colors,” for instance. Then there’s the page devoted to the Hero Arts Resource Center, where retailers can attend stamping and merchandising classes-what better way to, in the words of a panelist, “create a relationship with your customer”? And for those retailers who can’t trek out to Northern California, the catalog includes “Tips from the Resource Center,” such as “Have salespeople wear stamped name tags featuring new stamp designs.” As one judge enthuses, “This catalog takes a market niche, provides a breadth of quality product that is perfectly appropriate to the market, and even helps to teach the customers how to better sell the product to the end user-thus increasing overall sales. The marketing mission is clearly defined and executed.”

Another judge, enthralled by the luxurious paper stock and the lush photos of handmade cards and stationery created with the Hero Arts stamps, goes one better: “Hero Arts escalates the art of a handmade greeting card to a religion.” And this hard-working catalog is bound to convert many a retailer.

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