Stand Out in a Sea of Sameness (

Disrupt. Delight. Drive. Three words that, together, form a mandate for our catalogs. From crowded mailboxes our books need to stand out and garner attention; pay off that attention with content that creates desire, and – ultimately – compel our customers to click, call or visit. It’s a tall order. And that first piece, Disrupt, is the 1st priority. If it doesn’t happen, the other two won’t. We could mail an 11” x 17” oversized book. That will get noticed. So would a ‘scratch and sniff’ cover? But most of us don’t have budget to add a bunch of bells and whistles just to make us louder than the other guys.

I’m particularly mindful of this as I wade through the current flood of women’s clothing catalogs in my own mailbox, most of them conveying the long-suffering Spring + Early Summer + Mother’s Day mashup: covers graced with women pouring each other glasses of Rosé, or bikes with flower-filled baskets. Make no mistake: this is not a judgement, but a shared burden. What can we do—any of us—to stand out in a sea of perpetual sameness, when all we have to work with is the traditional, two-dimensional real estate of a catalog cover?

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