Hodges Refurbishes Equestrian Awards Catalog
More than 14,000 copies of the book -- printed on No. 2 stock at an approximate cost of $1.90 per book -- were mailed on Jan. 16 to the company's house file, said Linda Riggs, marketing manager at Hodges Badge Co., Portsmouth, RI. The drop was part of a print run of 40,000, with the additional copies reserved for catalog requests received via the company's Web site and toll-free number.
"We do mid-month mailings to customers who place orders at a certain time throughout the year, and we send out copies as reminders to those customers who have not ordered within a year," Riggs said.
The catalog's major change is in its design, as it has taken on a look similar to its Web site. The top of the book's cover lists the catalog's sections, which include Flats, Sashes, Medals, Judge's Cards, Rider's Numbers, Stock and New Products. A bar that includes these sections is placed at the top of each left-hand page and is similar to the one found on the company's Web site. The Web site is placed on the cover just below the list of sections and at the top of every right-hand page.
The catalog features new inexpensive sashes and has returned three rosette ribbons -- Dutchess, Sunburst and Duke -- that were eliminated from the catalog three years ago.
"The Sunburst is a little on the expensive end," Riggs said. "When we took it out of the catalog, the thought was it was pricing itself out of the market. The other two rosettes at the time probably had some type of dwindling sales. But sometimes, when you take something out of the mix ... a demand [is created] for them and we brought them back."
Pricing for the Sunburst rosette ranges from $4 each for an order of 1,000 or more to $5.55 apiece for orders of less than 25, with various intermediate price points.
The average sales order for the book is approximately $200.
The catalog has kept a feature that has been an effective selling tool -- customer photos that feature Hodges Badge awards.
"For the last 10 years, the Hodges family has run a catalog cover photo competition," Riggs said. "The main winner gets $2,500 [and] goes on our front cover. This year we had over 400 entries, which is the largest number we've ever gotten. We also chose 10 honorable mentions where the photographs are [displayed] throughout the catalog. We feel it really helps us sell the rosettes and sashes because people see them in use."
The 32-page, 8 1/2-inch-by-11-inch catalog offers a 10 percent discount on prepaid orders placed between Nov. 1 and March 1. This fact is mentioned across the bottom of every left-hand page, while the bottom of every right-hand page mentions the customer service hours and toll-free number.
The most popular item in the book is the Ideal rosette, which produces more than 1 million sales each year.
"It's economical," Riggs said. "And the fact that you can customize it is a plus for many of our customers."