Can Your Business Survive without a Professional Brochure?
By definition a brochure is a small booklet containing information and images about a product or service. You may think that in today’s age of the internet and social media marketing that a brochure is a luxury you don’t need to invest in. But think again. When someone contacts you and asks for information about your products, how will you respond? If you are at an exhibition and an enquirer wants to take some information away with them, what do you give them?
Even in our technological age, a business will come unstuck without a professional brochure. An email text to a potential client listing your product features will just not do. An in-house printed Word document handed out at exhibitions will look shoddy and fail to impress potential clients who are being bowled over by your competitors’ eye-catching and good looking professionally-printed brochures.
There really is no escaping the need for a brochure to promote your business effectively and professionally in a variety of situations. So ensure you incorporate the production of a brochure in your marketing budget and be clear that a brochure to promote your business must be:
professionally designed and printed, memorable, and clearly retain your brand identity
persuasive and clearly explain your key messages
differentiate you from your competitors
A professional graphic design team will take time to understand your business, understand your goals and how you want to use your company brochure. It must be fit for its purpose –appropriate to your business and appropriate to its use.
A brochure to match your business:
You may like the idea of having a luxurious, top-of-the-range A4 brochure packed with thick, glossy pages and sporting a linen paper stock cover with raised print. It could be spot on for a real estate company selling million dollar homes, but would be wholly inappropriate, and a waste of money, if you are selling DIY tools.
At the other end of the scale your brochure could be a simple bi-fold or tri-fold brochure created on lighter paper – just because it’s not the all-singing and all-dancing type of brochure, does not mean it can’t look highly professional, enticing and get your message across clearly to your target market. If you are operating a Not-for-Profit organization a simpler brochure will be a far better use of donated funds. Your donors would prefer to see their money spent on the good cause rather than on ‘ooh-ahh’ fancy brochures printed on chameleon paper which changes its metallic color depending on the angle of the light.
A brochure to match its use:
Your business brochures may be used in a variety of situations, and in each one may need to be slightly different.
Exhibition Brochures: these are designed for hand out at exhibitions to interested parties who can then read up more about your product and services in their own time. They should reinforce the messages that you conveyed face-to-face.
Sales Support Brochures: similar to exhibition brochures these summarise the pertinent facts about your offerings. However these can actually be used by sales staff when pitching to a potential client – they normally have larger headlines, font and photos.
Point of Sale Brochures: these types of brochure are displayed typically at point of sales areas such as in a hotel / spa / golf reception area, in a bank whilst people are queuing to complete a transaction or at a check-out location. The viewers are not seeking your product specifically but the purpose of this type of brochure is to arouse so much curiosity that people are encouraged to pick them up and take them away to read.
Respond to Enquiry Brochures: if someone contacts you for more information about your products or services, they are much more likely to buy than someone who hasn’t contacted you. Consequently this type of brochure must focus on the advantages of buying your products above all others. It can be prepared as hard copy and in electronic format to send to email enquirers.
Direct Mail Brochure: if you sell products directly to clients through the mail, you can add your direct mail brochure to every package to try to tempt them to buy more purchases from you.
Once the professional design team understand the requirements of your company brochure they can move ahead to create some ideas for you to review way before the new brochure gets to the print queue. In all their designs they will focus on:
Brand – your brand identity must be seen clearly in everything by using your logo, tagline, corporate colors and appropriate fonts
Front page – if it’s not enticing it just won’t do. An experienced team of professionals know exactly how to capture people’s attention with exceptional artwork, clever placement of images and a concise easy-to-see message
Content – a great front page has to be supported by even greater content! The interior of your brochure needs to sell your product and services. The content must clearly and concisely explain the benefits to the purchaser, and must provide sufficient detail to help them decide if they want to find out more or make a purchase.
Brochure system – depending on its use, the team will suggest different types of brochure. They will guide you on appropriate paper density and print run to make the most appropriate and cost effective brochure for your needs. For example, they will check how frequently your products or services may change as this will directly affect your print run. No point in printing off two year’s supply if you will be launching new products after six months because the brochures will then become redundant. Alternatively the professional team can prepare a branded presentation ‘pocket’ folder with inserts, each of which can be easily and more cost effectively updated without having to reprint the whole brochure system.
Call to action – the call to action steps must be highly visible. They may simply comprise your contact details and website address, but they will be placed logically and clearly so people can contact you.
Without a professional brochure your business will struggle to hold its own against your competitors in many different situations. Since brochures can be as simple as bi-folds and tri-folds there really is no excuse for not having a professional version amongst your marketing arsenal as these are particularly cost effective.
So if you are thinking of cutting corners and not bothering to print a professionally designed brochure – think again. Your business might survive but at what cost?