Company brochures are a must for any company that relies on a sales force as part of its marketing efforts. The brochure is your leave-behind voice that continues the conversation long after your meeting is over.
The tactile experience of a brochure conveys your company message in a way that digital marketing cannot.
Understanding Who, What, Where, Why & How before you call in your designer will simplify the design process.
1. WHY? - Understand the purpose of your brochure
What is it for? Is it an introduction to your company? Is it an introduction to a specific product or service? Is it for brand awareness?
Understanding WHY you're giving your prospect this brochure will guide you in deciding WHAT information you need to include.
2. WHO? - Who is the recipient?
All marketing efforts must be presented to the recipient in a way that they want to receive it. It's Simple - A brochure that has a picture of a puppy on the front will not appeal to a CPA that may be interested in your new software that will make her more efficient.
Get into your prospect's head and present to them, as they want it.
3. WHAT? -Stay on brand
Unless you're rebranding or updating your current brand, the look and feel of your brochure must be consistent with all of your other marketing. Have you ever seen a purple IBM logo? No.
Most of the decisions about color and font were made when you designed your logo. If all of your printing and web collateral looks like it belongs together, then you're well on your way to making a cohesive branding statement and building a loyal following.
Stick with it, if you want it to stick with your potential customer!
4. WHERE? - How will the brochure be distributed?
Will this brochure stand alone as a self-mailer? Is it part of a larger packet of information left behind after a presentation? Will it be used as a cold-calling pamphlet? Is it a Trade show handout?
There are many uses for a brochure, and understanding the distribution channels will certainly guide the design of the piece to make it more effective.
5. HOW? - Keep it short
Your prospect is just as busy as you, so respect their time to invest in learning about your company. The longer it takes to read your brochure; more prospects will lose interest and stop reading. Or never even start if they see it's going to require too much of their time.
“If you build it, they will come" does not apply to company brochure design. The purpose of the brochure has to be clear, otherwise the recipient doesn't know what to do with the information you just handed them.
Saddle Stitching vs Perfect Binding
Manuals, catalogs, and other books used in business, are generally manufactured using one of two binding methods. To determine the best option for your book here's a brief description of each process:
Saddle Stitched books are created by nesting folded pages that have wire staples on the crease of the book's spine.
Perfect Bound books are created by gluing the pages inside of the cover at the spine with a strong, flexible adhesive.
Page Count is often a determining factor in choosing between the two. There is some overlap in page count, so other determining factors are listed below.
Saddle Stitching is limited to thinner books with a lower page count because the wire staples must be pushed through the paper. 8 - 64 pages is ideal depending on the paper thickness.
Perfect Binding is limited to thicker books because it needs a thicker spine for the glue to adhere to. 36 pages and higher is ideal for perfect binding. As long as the book is over 1/8" thick, it can be several inches thick like a phone directory.
Spine printing - Each of these options is very different.
Saddle Stitched books do not have a flat surface to print on so spine printing is not an option.
Perfect Binding books allow for printing on the spine so that when the book is on a shelf it's more easily identifiable.
Lay Flat Pages - Consider the reader's experience.
Saddle Stitched books generally lay flatter when the book is opened, allowing for better crossover artwork viewing.
Perfect Binding books tend to close back up unless you hold the pages open. A hinged, lay-flat option is available on perfect bound books that costs more and adds to the production time.
Shelf Life - Your choice in binding options can mean the difference between getting one order or saved for future orders.
Saddle Stitched catalogs are frequently mailed for the quick, one time Holiday orders. Then they are typically tossed in the recycling bin.
Perfect Binding catalogs for B2B products are intended for use throughout the year. Perfect Binding creates a sense of permanence. Consider how many old National Geographic magazines you can still find at garage sales vs. old Popular Mechanics magazines?
Production Time - Saddle Stitched books are quicker to manufacture
Cost - Saddle Stitching is typically the more affordable of the two options.
The Holidays allow us a chance to say Thank You to our Employees, Vendors and Customers. Of course, the gift must reflect the relationship you have with the recipient to be received as intended. Over-giving comes across as suspicious, while under-giving can appear unappreciative.
Whoever the recipient, be authentic in your giving. Don't try to disguise your marketing message in the form of a Holiday gift. It's a great idea to put your mark (brand) on your gift to remind them of who gave it to them, just keep it subtle. It's not a billboard, it's a gift.
A quality jacket with a monochromatic logo embroidered on the left chest is perfect for an employee who would be proud to sport his company's brand in a subtle way. On the other hand, don't hand them a t-shirt with a large, bright company logo that fills up the back of the shirt as a Holiday gift.
Useful gifts for Customers and Vendors are preferred because they are not too personal. Photo frames, desk clocks, USB battery chargers are all quality, useful gifts that convey your corporate message without screaming it at them.
Consider the gift recipient, and they will consider the source this year. They'll be grateful for your gratitude.
Don't chop down the mailboxes yet. Texting hasn't replaced all phone calls and email has not replaced direct mail. As a matter of fact, industry reports show very little decline in Direct Mail volume over the last three years. But this article is not about the volume of direct mail, it's focused on the purpose.
Here are 4 common uses of direct mail:
1. New Customer Acquisition
Direct mail reaches a physical mailbox that 98% of us open every day. A targeted mailing list can tell us if the recipient has kids, what their income is, and how much they paid for their house. Recipients must touch your printed piece before they recycle it, giving you a couple of seconds to grab their attention.
This category of mailing includes up-selling, cross-selling, bounce back, and inactive customer motivators. The recipients of these mailings are somewhat known to us as past customers. You must reenergize these recipients by using data captured from your past experience with them. Personalized variable printing is very effective with this market.
3. Database Updating
It's likely that your customer mailing list is larger than your customer email list. And maybe your customer moved since they last purchased from you a year ago. A personalized direct mail piece, accompanied by a reward incentive can yield up to a 40% response rate. Your customer will update their profile and you have just reengaged them in a marketing conversation.
4. Multichannel Marketing
Studies continue to show that the combination of direct mail with email campaigns increases the response rate by three times over either effort on its own. It's important to preserve your brand so that the recipient understands the cohesiveness of your campaign. A well-planned, combined effort will reward you with sales.
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