Branding relates to how others see your company. Everything your business does reflects on your overall image, and any printed material in advertising, inside your office or distributed to the public makes an impression.
According to Stackla, 86% of people say authenticity is a significant factor in deciding which brands they purchase. However, 57% of those consumers report that less than half of brands come across as real and truthful. Above all else, your printed material must be consistent and honest.
You have a chance with the printed material you put out into the world to show leads who you are. You must look at material from your perspective as a company and also from the buyer’s viewpoint. Why would they want to do business with you? What problem do you solve for them?
Top 8 Tips When use Print to Put Out Your Brand
Here are some things to keep in mind as you work to get the word out about your organization. How well you genuinely showcase your strengths can make the difference between gaining new customers and losing them to a competitor.
#1. Choose Your Formats
Print media includes anything tangible, such as a magazine, newspaper, flyer, billboards, postcards, photographs on your office walls and even vinyl decals on your company vehicles.
Anything people might see or hold in the course of the day that is not digital would be considered printing. There are dozens of options, but it’s essential to choose the ones you think will reach your target audience and get your message across.
If you run a small, local eatery, you might focus on sending out postcards, taking an ad in the local paper and passing out flyers to passersby. A billboard is only helpful to you if you get a lot of interstate traffic. Think about which formats work best with the audience you’d like to target.
#2. Showcase Your Work
Do clients come to your business? Think of ways to showcase your work. If you build homes, take photos of finished products, and then print, frame and hang them on the walls. Of course, the images you use will depend upon the industry you’re in.
Brands that work online might showcase photos of employees to add personality to their decor. Don’t be afraid to get a bit creative with the artwork you share.
You can also use printed material at trade shows in your booth. Set up at the local craft fair and take along the images to showcase your skills.
#3. Personalize Direct Mail
As a business, you must identify your typical customer. Once you understand your target audience, create a buyer persona representing most of their traits. You should pay particular attention to pain points. What problem drives the person to seek out a business such as yours?
Identify people in your area who fit into your target demographic and present the solution on a mailer. Direct mail can be quite successful in getting your business in front of the right people. However, you can also waste a lot of money advertising if you don’t send the information to a narrow niche.
If possible, create a personal letter to each homeowner or potential client. If you can use their family name, they’ll feel they aren’t just one of thousands who received a letter. Identify a problem they likely have, tap into their emotions and offer a solution.
For example, if you sell new gutters to homeowners, you might spend time driving to neighborhoods and seeing which houses look like they need new downspouts. Personalize the letter by saying you noticed their red brick ranch could use new gutters, or their little white farmhouse would benefit from gutter guards to keep fall leaves out.
While personalized messages take a bit longer to generate, they also have a higher probability of success. It shows you care about their specific issues and have a potential fix.
#4. Know Who You Are
If you want people to remember your brand, you must know who you are. What are your core principles as a company? What do you stand for? Look back to why you started the business in the first place. How did you hope to help people?
Your brand should have a persona, just as your target audience does. You want any printed material to show a consistent message about your company. Define your mission statement, so you filter everything through that lens.
Make sure you keep the same tone and attitude no matter what type of printed material people see. If they walk into your office, your artwork should reflect your values. You might even put the mission statement on the wall with vinyl letters. If you mail out a flyer, make it clear what your values are.
#5. Tap Into Emotions
A strong brand identity taps into the emotions of your customers. Your reputation means everything to those who choose to spend their hard-earned dollars with you. However, it’s important to remind them of your strengths and let new customers know why your current clients love you.
Use printed material to highlight your understanding of their struggles and the emotions behind them. If you sell puppy training sessions, focus on the joy and frustration of a new pet. Highlight how many success stories you have and then tell them you can help their pup behave better in four short sessions.
Be aware of who your leads are. Is your target a busy working parent? Then, you might focus on fast results. If you mainly work with seniors, they may care more about the quality and how long your product lasts. Know what they care most about, so you can highlight it on any printed material you put out into the world.
You must send the same message. The last thing you want is for leads to see competing information. Don’t put out one flyer that says you offer the fastest results and a newspaper ad saying you offer quality no matter how long it takes. Such conflicting information makes you seem unreliable and inauthentic.
#6. Create a Style Guide
We’ve established how important consistency and authenticity is when branding your business through print. One way to ensure you offer an honest and steady look to anything you print is by creating a style guide.
A style guide outlines what fonts you use in printed material. You can include specifications on image sizes, how and where your logo gets used, your brand color palette and the tone of communication. What is the voice of your brand? Are you funny, serious or somewhere in the middle?
A style guide ensures you have the same look and feel no matter who works on the material. You may have different graphic artists, marketing professionals and leaders creating things to promote your brand. A style guide keeps everyone on the same page and helps establish a personality for your company.
#7. Perfect Your Packaging
Think about the smaller ways printing impacts your business image. For example, if you sell a product, what does the packaging look like? You want that same consistent reliability that is quickly recognizable as your brand.
Ideally, you’ll use the logo and perhaps a tagline on an outside box. However, you must also think about what type of information you should place on the package holding your product. What do your customers most care about? How do you include the overall voice of your company?
You may want to enlist the help of a professional marketer and product package designer to come up with the perfect look. Using the wrong information or an outdated design could cost you sales, particularly if your product sits next to others on store shelves.
#8. Use Color
People respond better to color print ads than black and white. While a newspaper may necessitate you stick to one color, you may still be able to add red or blue to the mix. Think of how the ad looks next to other content in a publication.
You can also utilize color to help set your brand apart from competitors. Every color has a certain emotional appeal. Red elicits excitement and blue calm. Think about the message you want to send with your printing and use the shades most likely to enhance those emotions.
Printed material is about so much more than just the words. The color, layout and typography all work together to enhance the impact.
Printing works to create exceptional branding opportunities without a smaller company spending exorbitant amounts of money. You can easily change aspects of your design that aren’t working, customize signs on your store windows, add floor decals to direct people through your store and mail personalized letters to clients.
Pay attention to how each piece of material enhances your message and creates a view of your brand. By remaining consistent and sticking to a set of goals, you’ll find printing and branding work together to help get the word out about your business. Use various print methods to create a strong impression and stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds.
About the Author!
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.