Neal Schuler, VP, Creative Director

Neal Schuler, VP, Creative Director

Not too long ago, catalog was king. We’d toss our e-commerce creative team the bones of our catalog feast to make their meal. But we’re past that, right? We need to give our websites the same love our catalogs get; they’re completely co-dependent sharing the same audience. That’s right, it’s ONE CHANNEL!

Think of it this way: The catalog brings the brand directly to a consumer’s door. It entices with the best of an assortment in aspirational settings. It provides comfort. Not cold cyberspace, but a tactile experience that we enjoy in our favorite chair – we live with it. And a catalog introduces and authenticates a brand like nothing else. Sending a catalog to someone is like extending your hand and introducing yourself. When a brand takes the first step, the audience, even in a small way, appreciates it.

On the other hand, the website pays off the promise of the catalog by not only reinforcing the proposition with aspirational images and messaging, but with expanded product and brand content. A website can provide a myriad of features a catalog can’t, like interactive tools, ratings and reviews, online chat, up-to-date product availability and (hopefully) easy ordering. A well-designed website can be a vast resource that underscores authority, validates the brand and strengthens it.

The two channels are like Lennon and McCartney, Simon and Garfunkel (giving away my age here). They have distinctive approaches that are complementary and greater than the sum of their parts.

Here are 3 tips for creating a powerful multi-channel presentation:

  1. Bring your e-commerce and catalog folks together for upstream planning and brainstorming. Having the two teams consider the catalog-to-website consumer experience will create the most seamless sales-activating strategy.
  1. Have your catalog and e-comm teams plan photoshoots together. Vertically oriented cover shots and full page features don’t work well for websites. To ensure a seamless aesthetic and brand presentation, create website-oriented versions of your most important shots maintaining the same lighting, styling and sets.
  1. Proximity matters! Get your catalog and e-commerce creative folks in the same work area. Easy communication between the groups will save time and support a consistent look and feel across channels. The comradery doesn’t hurt either. Breaking down silos and sharing ideas not only feels good – it’s more creative. And, it’s a constant reminder to the creative team that it’s all one brand, one proposition and ONE CHANNEL!

Need some guidance crafting your multi-channel presence? Email Neal at to chat.

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