Catalog is a multi-brand design store located in Stockbridge, one of Edinburgh’s most vibrant independent shopping districts. Bringing together the world’s best brands under one roof, Catalog curates an array of homeware—from furniture, lighting and accessories—for the contemporary home. They offer a complementary design service to all of their customers, and undertake a variety of commercial work throughout the year. The team are responsible for dressing some of the capital’s most coveted addresses.
After many months of silent admiration, we approached the shop’s owners, Ralf and Dixie, to see if they required any extra help with their digital marketing. Like their fellow business owners, their digital marketing efforts (at that time) were on an ad-hoc basis, and so our pitch was welcomed. We’ve summarised below what our six months together looked like, in the hope that it gives a thorough insight into how our retainers work.
We held a number of meetings before we started in order to understand how they wanted to be perceived online, and what they wanted to say. We extracted data from Google Analytics, Facebook and Instagram in order to determine who Catalog’s follower was. It was important to make that distinction from the very beginning—not all of the company’s followers would have purchased from them before, nor even stepped foot into the store. We knew this by understanding the industry they’re in, and by recognising the potential for Catalog’s social media accounts to act as a source of inspiration for interior design enthusiasts.
We spent a lot of time mapping out the services Catalog offered, and who they were for. We familiarised ourselves with their brand portfolio, which ranges from HAY, Petite Friture, NORR11 and Arflex to Muuto, Ligne Roset, Normann Copenhagen and Andreu World. We understood which brands were suited to commercial projects, and for the home. We memorised price points, materials and features for hundreds of products in order to draft copy and respond to customers’ enquiries.
How should we present this information, the brand’s story, to the customer? We formulated a visual direction that separated Catalog from its competition here in Edinburgh, and allowed them to compete internationally with fellow design stores that would also be representing the same brands. We worked across Facebook, Instagram and emails to tell the brand’s story and reignite Catalog’s relationship with its followers.
Instagram was our primary focus. We instantly smartened up the grid by choosing to utilise professional images by the brands themselves. We surrounded these images by a thick white border. It was a way for us to separate the brands from each other, and almost present the products as artworks in and of themselves. We always imagined them as little paintings, able to be appreciated without distraction to its neighbour (the surrounding posts).
Catalog didn’t have stringent brand guidelines so we were granted creative freedom when it came to experimenting with various typefaces and colour combinations. We extracted colours from the products themselves as it felt like the most harmonious thing to do. We didn’t want to impose a colour palette that might not suit the products we were highlighting.
The Instagram feed just isn’t getting seen as much as it used to so we focused on engaging followers through Instagram Stories. We treated Stories as its own social media platform, developing numerous types of content for this exclusive purpose.
#FourTheWeekend was a huge success. It was a video series that invited inspirational individuals from the design industry to pick their four favourite products from the showroom. We deliberately shot these on iPhone, and formulated an editing sequence in a couple of iOS apps that enabled the Catalog team to do it themselves. In addition to this, we regularly shared content from brands in Catalog’s portfolio and customers who were sharing their recent purchases. We also utilised Stories to promote upcoming events and share news. It became the quickest way for us to immediately reach most of the followers on the account.
Facebook became a place where Catalog supported the brands in its portfolio by sharing their news on upcoming releases, events, inspiration for collections, and so forth. Catalog also asserted its industry knowledge and awareness by sharing relevant content published across the most popular design websites, from Yellowtrace to designboom.
Emails, like Instagram, were an integral part of our work. The inbox is the most intimate place on the internet. When customers look at a piece of content in their inbox, there’s no other place where they’re most engaged. We took the time to segment Catalog’s mailing lists by interest. This allowed us to tailor email campaigns to the needs of the customer. The mailing lists were comprised of individuals who had already enlisted Catalog’s services in the past, which meant that we took time to craft email campaigns that would inspire and delight.
We produced email campaigns that ranged from highlighting the successes of recently completed commercial projects, like the use of Fameg chairs for Smith & Gertrude’s fit-out to how to style your coffee table.
Once the six-month retainer came to an end, Ralf and Dixie felt ready to implement the digital marketing strategy we developed on their own. The team has since expanded and, with the additional support, they’ve continued to grow their following, engagement and reach month-on-month.
What the client said