How Black Box Connects With Customers – and MCM Awards Judges

Black Box is the bible for IT professionals, and it never fails to deliver. With its 622-page Network Services 2009 book, Black Box Corp. proves it is the authority in this field and earned a Silver Award in the Computer and High Tech Equipment and Software category.

Why it won a Silver
The headline next to the globe pictured on the front cover says it all: Comprehensive Communications and Infrastructure Solutions. This catalog takes fairly boring material–networking products and services – and electrifies it through expert copy, great photos, helpful graphics, tip boxes and a comprehensive index.

An insert at the beginning of the catalog explains Black Box and its product selection. Various chapters cover new products, cabling, testers and tools, power and surge protection, interface and protocol converters and servers and storage. And that’s barely scratching the surface of all Black Box has to offer.

Catalog copy is “feature forward,” said one judge, in that it explains the use of product and how to select from the vast inventory, “Headlines are factual, which fits this genre,“ the panelist noted.

Indeed, this is not a catalog to browse. The end user wants to find the items quickly and have some help determining which product is best for his or her application. That’s just one of the things Black Box does well.

The combination of a large number of products with an authoritative presentation “gives the sense that these guys know what they are talking about,” a panelist said. “This book goes the extra mile.”

Why it didn’t win a Gold
Some panelists thought the catalog should do more to reinforce the array of products available online and better promote the online tutorials and tips. “And the callout for the free tech support on the inside back cover is lost in the gutter,” said one judge.

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