It’s rare for catalogers to devote valuable selling space to anything other than product, but pushing product isn’t the only way to sell. A case in point is the 2011 catalog from Botanical Interests, which breaks away from the traditional catalog format in three respects:
1. Articles and Recipes. The catalog includes half a dozen articles on everything from attracting bees to growing broom corn. The technique serves as a “soft sell” while providing helpful information.
In addition, the vegetable and herb seed sections include recipes from local chefs, which impart an implied endorsement while emphasizing the end benefit of growing fresh produce.
2. Photos of People. How often do you see photos of people on nearly every spread of a garden catalog? The Botanical Interests catalog is sprinkled with “Insider Tips” – photos of staff members with a couple-sentence-long gardening tip. Not only does this technique provide more useful advice, but it brings a human face to Botanical Interests as a company full of dedicated and knowledgeable gardeners.
In addition, the catalog includes photos of the article writers and chefs whose recipes are featured – another way to engage the reader.
3. Magazine-Style Cover. The catalog cover looks more like a magazine than a catalog. Next to a beautiful illustration of an ornamental pepper, the copy emphasizes the articles inside, drawing the reader in with information.
Congratulations to Botanical Interests on a job nicely done!