Boden marks first as kids create their own covers

Jo Francis
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Boden has executed its most ambitious personalised catalogue campaign yet, by allowing children to create their own cover designs for the MiniBoden summer catalogue, in what is believed to be a first for any catalogue company.

Mini Boden catalogues
Mini Boden catalogues

The campaign ran in the UK, Germany and United States, with a total of 15,000 personalised catalogues mailed out last month.

The clothing retailer partnered with Kin Design to create the HTML5 online cover designer app, which allowed parents and guardians to register their children to take part via the Boden by You microsite. The children were then able to explore a range of creative possibilities around the theme of creating an island scene, using elements designed by Boden's creative team, with each cover also featuring the child’s name and age.

Kin Design had previously created the interface for Wallpaper* magazine’s ‘handmade’ issue back in 2010.

“It’s a really good way of illustrating how something digital can fuse with something tangible,” explained Mike Gough, Boden’s associate director of creative services. “It’s been an amazing project and we’re really proud of it. The team here, in particular production manager Anne Beales, has done a fantastic job.”

Using unique ID codes, the cover and spine design information was married with the individual customer addresses at London-based FE Burman, to create the personalised cover files. FE Burman produced the personalised covers for the UK and Germany on an HP Indigo 7600, on 170gsm Fedrigoni Arcoprint extra white paper.

The covers were then bound onto the 168pp text blocks by Pindar in Scarborough. The catalogue text was printed on 65gsm Sappi Royal Press 400 matt.

The biggest take-up came from the UK, where 8,500 catalogues were created.

In a further boost to UK print Boden has also brought the printing of the A5-format MiniBoden catalogue back to this country as part of its contract with Pindar, part of the York Mailing group. RR Donnelley in Poland previously printed the catalogue, which has a total print run of around 370,000.

Boden has produced personalised catalogues before based on customers’ habits and preferences, but allowing people to create their own design is a first for the company.

“It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this and a first for catalogues in general as far as I know,” Gough said.

A system was in place for FE Burman to handle the reprinting of covers and binding onto the text blocks for the small number of spoils.

“Unlike the sort of personalised campaign where people don’t actually know they’re going to receive something, we had to honour this and have 100% delivery,” he added.

The Donnelley plant handled the marrying of the covers to the German versions, while Quad/Graphics handled the project in the States.

Gough said the campaign has received very good feedback so far, with an increase in response rates and lots of activity on social media. “But it’s a long-term thing and is as much about brand engagement.”

The company also made a donation of £1, €1 or $1 to childrens’ charities for each personalised cover produced. And the creators of ten winning entries also received their own cover as a framed print and an iPad as prizes.

The online designer tool can still be used via Boden’s Creative Corner microsite, and Gough said Boden would re-use the technology and know-how gained in other ways in the future.

Gough will give a presentation about the project at the CatEx annual summit on Thursday (5 June) in London.



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