1. Establish clear objectives (before starting the process)
Before starting your catalogue design, establish clear objectives on what you want this catalogue or brochure to achieve. Examples might be to launch a new product, increase sales or customers, create awareness of a new sales promotion, or general branding of your business. Once you know your main objectives, you can then be certain of exactly what your catalogue or brochure design needs to achieve.
For example, if the objective of your catalogue design is to launch a new sales promotion, ensure the most prominent parts of your catalogue should be your promotional offer (50% off sale), how customers can take advantage of this offer (buy online now or come to our store today), create a sense of urgency (hurry! limited time only) and a strong call-to-action (phone us now).
2. WIIFM (What's in it for me?)
The golden rule of any marketing collateral is WIIFM (What's in it for me). Not you - the business - but for your customers. Your customers or potential customers will only be interested in your business if something benefits them. Whether they are already in the market for your products, or you're offering a discount on a service that they have been considering. Bottom line is, if your catalogue or brochure has more than two sentences in a row of "We offer this..." or "We have..." etc., that will not be enticing enough to your audience.
3. Strong Call to Action
We touched on this earlier, and whilst it seems to be important element of any sales materials, this is often omitted. How many times have you seen a flyer or brochure and can't find where you can buy the product? or looked on a website but can't find the phone number to contact them? Call to actions, such as "phone us now on 1800 000 000" or "visit our store today at......." needs to be one of the most prominent elements of any sales materials, this includes all your brochures, catalogue design, flyers, pamphlets. Even websites.
4. Consistency with your brand
This refers to how you want your business positioned in the market or industry. For example, if your business sells premium health products, targeted at high income earners, your catalogue design or brochure design should naturally have a premium look-and-feel. Use of elegant or classy font, high quality photos, well-written content and copy (text). Even the printing of your catalogues and brochures should reflect the premium look (gloss laminated, high quality stock, etc.)
5. A photo is well a thousand words
Sometimes, as the saying goes, less is more. Use good quality photos that present your products or services effectively can make your catalogue stand out by a mile. Avoid the use of too much content/text. Your customers or potential customers are not as interested in the details, mechanics or process of your products/services as much as you are!