Regardless of the size of the business, awareness has been and it will always be what a business will spend their time, money and energy on. Brand awareness is simply, the ability to communicate or educate a customer about your existence and what your company has to offer. This is why the marketing industry is so cut-throat, as every brand is just shouting and hoping their customers are listening in this very noisy environment.
Having defined who you are, what you do and why it matters, you should now consider the tone of voice, the type of impact and the feelings you want to put across so that you bridge the gap between what you do/sell to whomever you think will be buying it from you. Put yourself in their shoes. Always.
Why is this so important? Because this is what most creative agencies tend to use as ammunition when creating the business stationery and all the other marketing collaterals i.e. business cards, letterheads, compliment slips, envelopes, email signatures, leaflets, banners, folders and any POS print that you can think of. It is the differentiation of these print collaterals that communicates what you’re all about whilst having the opportunity to create a consistent look so that can be transcendent to your customer.
The best collaterals build and maintain a strong brand identity. It establishes a connection between you and the customer and enables companies to stand out from all the others. Good collateral makes an impression, carves out real estate in the prospect’s brain, and influences buying decisions. It helps to make a competitive statement and win business.
Too many brands fail to see collateral as the strategic asset it can be. Brands fail to leverage marketing materials as powerful and effective mechanisms for carrying the brand. Sales representative people need tools if they’re going to be effective.
Collaterals, give sales representatives the resources they need to be effective in sales meetings. They also provide the tools they need to create appointments and follow up. Not having any sort of collaterals is a tremendous liability within your company. So what benefits are you looking when producing these collaterals:
- Creates credibility for your business
- Explains why your product or service is better
- Provides your marketing and sales team with an effective way of explaining the function or benefits of your product or service
When designing your brand collaterals from stationery to marketing materials always consider your customers' perception when viewing and consuming it. Some of the basic tips are:
Less is more - simple design is often super effective and does not have to be boring. Think not only about the design elements as well as print finishes, embossing, cut-outs, foils…
Functionality - think on the user experience when viewing some of your marketing materials, for example, a photographer that uses a transparent business card with the shooting frames giving the perception of a viewfinder. Original, functional but most of all, easily rememberable.
Typography - readability and legibility are two elements that you need to consider when making typefaces choices. Readability is how easy is to read the words and legibility measures how easy it is to distinguish one letter from another in a particular typeface.
Structure - For a harmonious design, order is the law of visual connection of how everything is related. Between titles to content, always be aware of the hierarchy of information.
Stock Materials - If your brand values environmental responsibilities, a choice of recyclable paper and ink should be always up for consideration when printing these collaterals. Consistency creates trust.
White Space - Creating a new leaflet, brands tend to use every millimetre available to expose the new product or service. Resist this temptation and use this as your ally to create stunning visuals and most importantly breathable areas so that you don’t choke your customer when reading anything that comes inside your four walls.
Keep it Fun - Create contrast with the photography, layout and colours and ensure you provide your customer with a reason for them to pick up your next marketing material.