Wholesale/Dealer, Silver Award: Etera, 2001 Dealer Catalog

The encyclopedic Etera 2001 catalog packs enough information on the page to make even a novice plants dealer turn pro. “It’s a brilliant book. I felt like I could just read this catalog and open up a nursery. Everything it offered focused completely on the dealer,” said one judge.

Indeed, the catalog, which presents flowers in an easy-to-read A-Z format, is chock-full of vivid photos, accompanied by comprehensive factual information. “The gorgeous photography clearly emphasizes quality and the unique qualities of the product,” noted a judge.

“The editorial is fantastic,” enthused another panelist. “It makes you understand each category.” In addition to naming the plant’s genus and species, each entry gives the proper pronunciation, common name, height, type of soil, hardiness zone, heat zone, item number, and price. And several handy icons sum up the plant’s characteristics at a glance.

The judges also enjoyed the more descriptive copy. For instance, the text for the Achillea millefolium, or Snow Sport yarrow plant, begins: “Most white-flowered Yarrows tend to look dirty, as if someone forgot to add bleach to the wash. Not ‘Snow Sport.’ Its flowers are the pure, clean white of newly fallen snow.…” And the opening editorial section, which discusses the Etera growing process, planting and pruning tips, and an article on heat-zone maps by the president emeritus of the American Horticultural Association, enhance the book’s educational value.

What’s more, Etera devotes several pages and blurbs throughout the book to discuss the benefits of its certified-dealer program — including a variety of promotional display materials and ready-made newspaper, television, and radio ads, an Etera kiosk customized to display the store name and URL, and an Etera Perennial Guide of maps, articles, and garden designs to help customers.

So why didn’t Etera take home a Gold Award? For one thing, the panelists felt that the cover photo of rows of red, blue, and yellow flowering plants with the Etera logo superimposed didn’t do the catalog justice. “The rest of the book is so phenomenal — why this cover?” asked one judge, who added that without the “Products for Gardeners” tagline, readers “wouldn’t have a clue what it sells.” Several judges also complained that the guarantee is hard to find and hard to read. “Etera talks about customer service but doesn’t tell how it supports you,” said a judge.

Nonetheless, Etera’s 2001 Dealer Catalog is a stellar marketing vehicle. The striking photography, strong dealer programs, and in-depth information are worthy of two resounding green thumbs up.

14113 River Bend Rd.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Company/catalog launched: 1998
Director: Roger Heins
Designers: Roger Heins, Joe Tschida,
Steve Tucker, Doug Fast
Copywriter/production manager:
Heckler Associates
Marketing manager: Debbie Paape
Printer: Times Printing
Color separator: Color Control
Cover paper: 80 lb.
Text paper: 70 lb.
Number of pages: 96
Trim size: 8-1/4″ × 10-7/8″

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