What is your company’s brand identity? Do you even know? Whether you realize it or not, all of the choices you make, from the colors on your business card to the graphics on your mailer, create a brand identity in the eyes of your customers and prospects. Let’s look at a few of the brand elements you should be paying attention to.
Color. The colors you choose for your marketing materials should reinforce your brand. Think UPS brown, IBM blue, and John Deere green. Color triggers an emotional reaction, so color is a powerful tool. Red elicits excitement. Blue is associated with faithfulness and trustworthiness. Black connotes luxury. What colors best represent you?
Image. Your presentation should be consistent with your industry. If your business is in a conservative field, such as accounting or financial planning, for example, your visual image should be businesslike. Would you trust your money to someone who gives you a florescent orange business card covered with cheap clip art and grunge fonts?
Distinctive. Your colors and logo imagery should be appropriate, but at the same time distinctive so they stand out from the crowd. “Distinctive” doesn’t mean complicated. In fact, many of the most recognizable logos are simple. Think about the McDonald’s Golden Arches or the Nike “swoosh.”
Quality. When you are producing your print materials, spend the extra money to produce high-quality work. You can talk about quality products and great customer service, but if your print marketing looks like it was done on the cheap, that is the image that will stick in your customers’ memories. Spend the extra money on “extras” like gloss coatings and heavier-weight paper when appropriate.
Once you have a solid handle on your brand image, be consistent. Whether it’s your business card, your corporate identity materials, or a presentation folder, all of your print communications should have a similar look and feel. Continually reinforce your brand image in the minds of your customers.