What, No Restaurant Ratings?

April 1998


What, No Restaurant Ratings?

New catalogs connect products with lifestyles

If your catalogs still show page after page of boring old product, maybe you should catch the new wave in direct-mail marketing. Some big retailers use their catalogs – they're really more like magazines – to tout not just products but the lifestyles that go with them. The trend is so hot it inspired an article in a recent issue of Vogue.

One example is apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's A&F Quarterly, which includes a smattering of snack-food recipes, travel tips and movie recommendations in its pages. These are interspersed among the usual product shots of casually rumpled Kennedys-at-Hyannis-Port leisure wear. In the Christmas 1997 issue – subtitled "A Cool Yule" – one featurette advises (presumably late-adolescent) readers where to go to escape the post-Christmas doldrums (Budapest and Namibia are good choices, the catalog says). Another offers directions for assembling an alternative Christmas dinner consisting of turkey burger, vegetable fries, crab salad and pannettone bread pudding.

Why devote precious catalog pages to ground turkey recipes and discussions of the Reykjavik bar scene? It helps customers bond with you and makes them feel as if they belong to a club, one of A&F Quarterly's creators told Vogue.

Cover of A&F Quarterly

  Tips for Jewelers

Jump on the "lifestyling" bandwagon to showcase your wares in your catalog:

1. Show fashion photographs of some of the latest women's and menswear trends, accompanied by some of your jewelry. Explain in brief why your jewelry perfectly accessorizes the latest looks.

2. Review the jewelry in some of this year's movies. Titanic, Wings of the Dove and other current films feature exquisite jewelry that's fueling the trend toward reproduction and antique-inspired jewelry. You also could use such films to promote your estate jewelry department. To tie in to Titanic, for example, remember to mention that a large blue diamond was central to the plot of the film. If you carry colored diamonds, this would be a perfect match.

3. Talk about hot travel spots for which the latest jewelry is a perfect complement. High-karat gold, for example, could be shown over a travel photo of Istanbul. Turkey has been a popular travel destination for the past few seasons.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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