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Could a 17 Pound Catalog Be Worth Its Weight in Gold?

Could a 17 Pound Catalog Be Worth Its Weight in Gold?

Pop quiz: when was the last time the words “Restoration Hardware” crossed your mind? For most of us, the answer would probably be not lately – at least, not until we read the morning headlines. There, it turns out, we find at least half a dozen stories, including this prominent, much-cited New Yorker piece, questioning the wisdom of going all in on old-school direct mail.

Now, I’m not at all averse to direct mail. It has a role to play, and we can’t argue with the fact that consumers consistently buy more products when they have a physical catalog to leaf through compared with a digital only presentation of merchandise. That being said, it’s hard to overlook the environmental impact and significant production costs of a 3,300 page catalog. Factor in the understanding that direct mail at best generates a 4-5 % conversion rate and, as an added bonus, Restoration Hardware’s catalog does not contain product dimensions – a fairly critical consideration for the home improvement set! –and you find yourself in a position where it’s not exactly clear how this marketing decision makes sense.

And yet…there Restoration Hardware is, in The New Yorker. If we look at the New Yorker’s readership and Restoration Hardware’s target market, we’ll find considerable overlap among the two groups. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a few New Yorker readers went in search of the Restoration Hardware catalog specifically because they wanted to see what all the fuss is about; these are likely to be the high-income buyers who won’t mind dropping a few thousand on the casually-deconstructed wing chair everyone’s talking about.

What appeared at first glance to be a nonsensically grandiose gesture may in fact be a very strategic marketing decision by Restoration Hardware. Could this be the tangible equivalent of a Super Bowl ad, where a huge investment in creating buzz pays dividends over the long term? Only time will tell – but as business owners, we should be watching.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office