We at FAIRLING have the mission to connect brands and retailers from all around the world and to make the world of wholesale a better and more sustainable place.

In our How To & Tips guide on this blog we want to give you the best possible advice for your business so you are ready for takeoff with the most important tips and advice. Today’s advice will be all about creating the perfect product catalogue for your brand and what important key points you should watch out for.

FAIRLING product catalogue picture
Before starting with the design: The Key points

A catalogue, like a logo or a business card, is a tool used to reinforce and define brand awareness. The marketing experts know how much accuracy is needed and how much of a difference a good catalogue can make in terms of sales and brand presentation. Your two main goals before starting to design your product catalogue should be

  • Functionality: Easy to understand for the reader. That includes navigation, product information and the overall layout.
  • Appeal: Design and functionality should always be connected and go hand in hand while creating a product catalogue for your brand.
What formats are there for a product catalogue?

You can create your catalogue as a printed or digital version. On FAIRLING we use the digital format. It is more sustainable, the digital access is quick and easy to download to get an immediate insight into your product variations. While thinking about the ideal format for your catalogue, you should keep in mind that digital formats save you money and interested retailers a lot of time – so focus on an optimized digital version especially.

The structure of your catalogue

First things first, before you dive right into the design and layout creation process, you should think about the structure of your product catalogue. What information do you want the catalogue to include and what information is mandatory in every catalogue? A clear layout of your product catalogue is of great importance. If the reader spends too long searching for a particular product, it may cause displeasure and frustration. In the worst case, the search is abandoned and the catalogue is disposed of. So what information should definitely be found in your catalogue? Mandatory for the structure are

  • Cover (title page)
  • Introduction pages: Descriptions, advertising
  • Table of contents: Chapters/sections, subparagraphs, page number advertisements, alphabetical order, or by code
  • Catalogue: Chapter separators
  • End pages: descriptions, advertisements, notes
  • Back cover
The informational input of your data and content

So now that you know about the important key facts of structuring your catalogue you need to think about what input is needed from you to fill the structure of your catalogue. With input we mean all of the content that shows who you are as a brand. This for example should be the product data like product codes (SKUs/item number), category, subcategory, product name, description, attributes, prices, barcodes. This is very important because it gives the interested reader the possibility to track and search for your product or note down important information. 

Next to the product data you also need pictures of your products. Remember that the first visual impression is usually the most important one. Therefore it is very important to choose high quality pictures of your products and pictures that show your product in the best and most flattering way possible. However you should keep it simple, don’t overload a product page with too many pictures. Too much information and too many pictures can destroy the simple informational aspect of your catalogue and your product.

The communication of your products and the information

Only with the right product communication you can convince your customers and convey important information about your products. In doing so, pay attention to the following things:

Do not overwhelm the reader with page-long texts. Especially in the B2B area counts: Time is money.

  • Visualize data and facts with diagrams or tables.
  • Use eye-catchers, such as icons, to highlight important information.
  • Make sure that your product descriptions have a consistent structure.
  • Keep your language style clear and concise.
  • Address your customers directly, for example with call-to-action and tips.

There are two hurdles to overcome for effective product communication.

1. Span of attention: Perceiving the message

The span of attention describes the information processing of the human being. The reader of your catalogue only takes in a selected portion of the information they are reading. This condition stems from the ever-increasing flood of information that must be selected. That means that the reader can only process a limited amount of information and you need to decide in advance which information is mandatory for your catalogue and the different pages. This is where you should start and break through the information filter of your customers in order to reach them.

2. Takeover: Accepting the message

Takeover refers to the processing of the message. By overcoming the span of attention, the reader has now received and understood the information that stood out to him. The important part for you now is to design and list this information in a trustworthy and understandable way before the reader’s span of attention ends. Of course you can not change the information of your catalogue while the reader is reading it. What we mean is to think through this process in advance and find a way to list your information in an appealing yet also informative way.

The design process of your catalogue

Now that you have collected and sorted all your important information about your products and the structure, you should move onto the design process. The design of your catalogue combines the compact summary of your product information and your brand identity regarding colors, font styles and the overall look. 

Stick to your corporate design when designing your product catalogue. This conveys professionalism. The catalogue here is a reference work for your products. Important information must be placed and marked in a clearly visible way. Colored boxes and highlighting through underlining or bold text styles help here. You should not lose sight of the saying “Less is more.” An unstructured and restless design looks unprofessional. The product pictures must be professionally designed and of high quality. In any case, you should consult a qualified product photographer for this if you are unsure about your current product pictures. 

When designing your product catalogue, you should be guided by your corporate design. That means you should stick to the colors and overall look that you are already using for your brand. The catalogue is a direct representation of you as a brand and your products and should not follow a completely different design that can not be associated with your brand. 

If you need more input or help with the design of your product catalogue, you can check out one of our pre-designed free FAIRLING product catalogue templates that we offer for all our registered brands.

The design process of your catalogue

A well-planned and structured product catalogue will help your brand succeed. Use the modularity of your content and do not overload the catalogue. This is the only way to generate real added value for your potential business partners. The targeted embedding of tabs and colors makes it easier for readers to find their way around your product catalogue. This way they don’t lose the desire to continue reading due to time-consuming searching. When publishing your catalogue, you combine online and offline formats to reach the largest possible audience, thus exploiting the potential of both formats.

You can also check out this article from our FAIRLING help center for more helpful information about creating the ideal catalogue for your brand. And of course our support team is always ready to help you with anything you need!

Even if there are times when wholesaling seems more difficult, it’s still important to be visible and tell the shops about your great products. Maybe you got some ideas from this article and found inspiration on how to make your ads on FAIRLING interesting.

If this was an old hat for you you probably are searching for some resellers for your products. We would love to help you find those. Just book a free demo call and we will be very happy to talk with you about your possibilities or answer your questions!

You are a unique brand and want to learn more about wholesale and reach out to potential shops? 

FAIRLING is an online trade fair platform and very easy to use.


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