Adidas brings customization to wholesale print catalogs

Borrowing from consumer catalogs, Adi­das will add greater customization to its quarterly wholesale catalog through the use of digital printing.

Product developers are finding it cost-prohibitive to produce large, generic sales catalogs due to rising paper and postage costs, said Mike Wychocki, EVP at Haggin Marketing, which is working with Adidas to produce the business-to-business catalogs.

“Product developers are moving toward offering retailers and distributors a more directed selection and more market sup­port,” Wychocki said.

With variable data printing, it is easier to pull together product assortments custom­ized for each recipient and put them on the page with representations of the available in-store marketing materials that also have been customized.

“We’re using digital publishing and cus­tomization from the consumer side and using it on the wholesale side,” Wychocki said. Not only does this produce a small­er, more cost-efficient mailer, it also gives wholesalers better control of their assort­ment, ensures their marketing materials are implemented more accurately and lets them address the needs of each reseller.

Retailers and distributors benefit as well, Wychocki said. “The reseller benefits because it doesn’t have to wade through a lot of material that is not applicable and can see everything rolled into a connected story,” he explained.

The customized catalogs will be pro­duced for Adidas’ quarterly assortments for its apparel, footwear, sports performance and originals lines and will be sent to top retailers, including department stores and sporting goods outlets, as well as indepen­dent distributors. Haggin produced its first Adidas sales catalog in early 2008.

Haggin will use a proprietary digital pro­duction platform to produce the catalogs. It includes a digital asset management tool capable of storing the 7,000-plus images from Adidas each quarter, a database for auto-populating pages and an online page-proofing tool that automatically routes pages between the agency and Adidas.

This is the first time these technologies, which are used by many consumer catalogs, are being executed on this scale and for a b-to-b audience, Wychocki said.

“On the wholesale side, you are sorting through thousands of products each quar­ter and customizing the selection for many retailers – that’s why the scale is different compared to the consumer side of things,” he noted.

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