The Death of the Printed Catalogue

Published - 16th May, 2016


Years ago, well before the global use of the computer and the internet, the best way to show off your products was with a printed catalogue, and to be honest this was a perfect way to promote your business and product range to a wide audience.

Nowadays it is so easy to promote and show off your products to a much larger audience with a simple click of a mouse and a share to your social media accounts. So why do companies still produce printed versions of their product range – there are a few reasons;

  • Printed material is tactile – take a glossy magazine for example, flicking through the pages just feels so natural.
  • It can be eye catching – a great image on the cover will immediately grab your attention.
  • They can draw traffic to your website.
  • They are a constant reminder of your brand/company – especially when left on a person’s desk.

Of course there are a number of cons when it comes to printed media;

  • Costs – Print costs have increased greatly over the years, there are fewer printers around and the raw materials have also increased in price. Add into the mix employing a design agency to create your catalogue and you may find yourself with a substantial bill at the end of it.
  • Time – Creating any form of printed media, be it a brochure, an advert or even a press release takes time, with the design, copy and proofing all taking up valuable resources and, at the end of the day, there is a well-known saying “time is money”.
  • Relevance – Printed media can and does become outdated quickly, with new products, designs and features being added all the time. Once it’s printed you can’t just edit and amend at will.
  • Traceability – Unlike the digital versions, there is no sure fire way of tracing an order back to a piece of printed media, especially when sending these out to long term customers, therefore it becomes very difficult to calculate your return on investment. 

So where does Sharon Lee stand on this debate?

Over the years we have made a point of creating and producing a new catalogue annually to distribute out at tradeshows and through postal mailings. Recently we made a decision to stop producing a yearly brochure and instead make a concerted effort to keep our website updated.

The main reason for this was down to the constant development of Sharon Lee, with new products being launched on a regular basis and new branding techniques being discovered. 2014 was a perfect example of why printed media wasn’t the best route to market, with the introduction of our IN HOUSE embroidery.  For 6 months of 2014 no one would have been aware of our new venture if they relied solely on the brochure and had no other communication with us.

We are not saying we will never produce a printed version of our product range and services, but for the time being we are putting a huge amount of time and effort into creating new ways in which you can find what you are looking for through the use of our site and with the introduction of our PREMIER client area.

What are your thoughts and comments?

We would love to hear your views or experiences with printed media – head over to our Facebook page and let us know.

For further information or to speak to one of the sales team please feel free to contact the sales team today 01376 552235 or