persuasive catalogue

The Seductive Structure Of A Persuasive Catalogue

Here's how to get retailers hot and bothered

As a rule, there should be more lifestyle photos, which show your work being used or enjoyed, at the beginning of your catalogue and more factual, white-box photos at the end.

That’s because a seduction is taking place.

When retailers first open your wholesale catalogue, your goal is to draw us in. You want to capture and hold our attention so you can make your case for becoming our supplier.

Lifestyle photos are an excellent way to do this.

That’s because they tell a story about who your work is for and how it enhances that customer’s happiness. If we can tell from your pictures that the customer we serve has a lot in common with the customer you serve, you’ve got our attention.

But besides that, indie retailers tend to be visual people. Show us colours, shapes and textures in a meaningful context and we can’t help but get sucked in.

So, combined with a warm tone of voice and credentials that show you know how to work with stores, good lifestyle shots send us to a dreamy place.

They transport us from our current status quo to the new bliss of having your products on our shelves.

If you put this first section together correctly…

Your right retailers fall in love with you a little bit.

Because you made us FEEL STUFF. An emotional connection is sparked.

So that’s cool.

But you can’t stop there. Towards the back of an effective wholesale catalogue there should be a distinct shift in tone.

So far you’ve whipped us into a frenzy. You’ve engaged our emotions and we’re starting to get that “Yes!” feeling about you. But that’s not enough.

Your purpose, after all, isn’t to give us a little daydream. That’s not going to pay the rent.

So once you’ve got retailers all hot and bothered, you want to convert that “Yes!” feeling into action. You want us to place an order. Preferably straight away.

Now, there are a number of ways to increase the chances of that outcome. But one of the best things you can do is downshift out of seduction mode and into so-here’s-how-to-make-this-happen mode.

Dialling down the bewitching lifestyle shots and bringing in more factual white-box photos in the second half of your catalogue is a way of saying “I’m glad you like my work. Here’s how to actually buy it.”

As is talking about the mechanics of the transaction, like your wholesale prices and minimum quantities, which is why those things also belong at the back. At this point, we want to gently bring the retailer out of the clouds and get down to business.

So here’s your takeaway:

The emotional structure of a persuasive catalogue is rainbow-shaped.

You start off in the retailer’s current reality, give them a glimpse of how blissful life could be if only they stocked your stuff, then explain exactly how they get from here to there.

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