toms-one-for-oneNew York’s Madison Avenue was once the purveyor of class and taste, selling an aspirational state of mind, brand by brand.  Drink this, wear that, go here, drive this and you too can be beautiful, successful and smart!  Back in the day, marketers pushed brands to consumers via print, radio or TV.  Sears was the first retailer to launch a catalog (1896) in order to tap into rural American households that couldn’t access a Sears, Roebuck & Co. store.  From seeds to aprons and modern appliances, the utilitarian looking catalog sold an aspirational state to people who otherwise couldn’t access it.Holiday Shopping Survey Reveals Catalogs Still Very Relevant

In late 2012, Baynote discovered that catalogs were still alive a century later, well into the eCommerce boom. Our second annual Holiday Shopper Survey (2012) discovered that while the influence of social media was on the rise, paper catalogs influenced twice as many consumers as both Pinterest and Twitter for in-store and online purchases. In fact, our survey found that paper catalogs influenced 81.9 percent more in-store purchases and 42.9 percent more online purchases than Facebook.

Fast forward to today when brands like Tom’s, Bloomingdales, JackThreads and OneKingsLane are producing incredible printed catalogs or “magalogs” in order to create an immersive brand experience. The photography and layouts are amazing, the staging and production are perfect – exactly what is needed to drive brand interest as well as store traffic.

Who hasn’t longingly dived into a Rolex brochure, J Crew catalog or Crate & Barrel magalog? This spring, catalogs are so key to Restoration Hardware’s in-store traffic, that they have published 13 books totaling 3,200 pages of slick, beautiful product images.

So, before you nix that print budget entirely, think about how catalogs play into your omni-channel strategy, and how they can help you to drive brand loyalty with your customers, regardless of how they buy your products.