Stop overlooking your collateral! Your print pieces may have come together piecemeal over the years, but there comes a time to re-assess them all as a group. And there’s no time like the present.
So, start by cataloging all of the ways that you appear in print. Make a thorough list of all of your print products and then, looking at these things with a fresh pair of eyes, ask yourself the following questions…
• Do these items follow the company’s color palette?
• Are all items cohesive in their design?
• Is there a clear visual branding message?
Then, look at the cohesiveness of your “story.” Some might refer to this as a company’s “identity,” “brand,” or “corporate communication,” but I like to refer to it as your company’s “story.”
When you think of the word “story” perhaps you think of a storybook tale. These narratives are easy to understand, easy to visualize, and easy to re-tell to someone else. Your company’s story should possess these same qualities.
Perhaps it’s a particularly interesting history, the amazingness of a certain product, or the awesomeness of your services. Whatever the story is, it needs to communicate something specific that allows someone to walk away with an understanding of how you’re different. It defines your extraordinary point of differentiation.
The fact is that, every time someone sees your printed material, a story is being told—whether you want to tell that story or not. People will make an immediate judgment, based on what you show them. Right away, they’ll form a perception of your company and make a subconscious decision about whether they trust you or not.
Thus, if your collateral is not trustworthy or consistent with your story, potential customers are likely to dismiss you. People do not generally take the time to consciously understand a company’s story. If your story isn’t communicated clearly, they’ll simply move on to the next company that makes sense to them. For instance, if a company whose story is all about how much they care about the environment did not use recycled paper or soy inks on their letterhead, the result would be off-putting.
So, tell me…
• Is your brochure communicating your story in the right way?
• Are your notepads creating a branding message?
• Is your presentation folder drawing attention?
• Is your sell sheet creating interest, so that someone wants to read further?
• Are your report covers presenting your company in a way that is authentic?
What’s working for you, in print, and what isn’t?