When you are out establishing a business and building a brand identity, one of the first things you need to think about is developing and distributing branded materials. When well executed, branded materials are a powerful form of marketing and a key way of building brand visibility and recognition among your target audience, so it is crucial to get things right. Your brand materials absolutely need to reflect your brand’s core identity, purpose, and message right down to the smallest details.
“What kind of materials do you need to let people know about your business? Think of everything – your business card, website, physical space,” Maryam Banikarim explained in Fast Company. “These things are all part of your marketing. Everything you do or say is saying something about your brand. So sweat the details and make every decision a conscious one.”
One of the main challenges when it comes to developing great brand materials is ensuring that you have something that stands out. These days, consumers are bombarded with tons and tons of different branded materials, from emails to fliers to business cards. If you want to make sure that your materials end up at the top of the pile and not at the bottom – or worse yet in a junk folder or trash bin – you need to do some work to make your materials stand out. How can you do that? Be sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind.
Be Consistent Across All Materials
Part of having branded materials that stand out is having materials that are easily recognizable. So, how can you achieve this? Well, luckily, the answer is relatively straightforward: consistency.
From your business cards to your website to brochures, all of your branded materials should be designed in the same style. The details should be the same across all platforms, including between online materials and print materials. Even small variations or discrepancies in your logo or color scheme can throw people off – they may not realize that a business card or brochure corresponds to your brand. While it can be time-consuming and frustrating to be such a stickler on this consistency point as you are developing new materials, it will pay off in the long run. The more consistent you are, the more visible and recognizable your brand will become.
“Be consistent in your branding. Use the same photo and logo on your blog, e-signature, newsletter banner, and all other forms of Internet communication. It’s one additional way you’ll be instantly recognizable to your target market,” Sharon Michaels advised in Forbes. Research has clearly shown that brands that are more easily recognized by consumers are often viewed to be more reputable and trustworthy. Therefore, consistency isn’t just for the sake of aesthetics. It is ultimately an investment into your business.
Go for Above Average Business Cards
Business cards are a necessity in today’s world. But they are also a great opportunity to ensure that your brand stands out. The key is something with a high-quality texture and a tangible weight. For example, you might try thicker business cards with colored edges to ensure people hang onto your cards for longer. 32-point cards will prove much sturdier compared to standard 12-point cards and will go a long way in getting your brand noticed. Enhanced design techniques like spot glossing, foils, and embossing can give your cards an much more sophisticated and professional look, helping to ensure that your card will stand out when placed among a pack of cards.
“When you are at business meetings or networking events, business cards are one way to effectively brand yourself and stand out,” Mel Carson explained in Entrepreneur, adding that when you hand over your card, you should also try to engage with the person meaningfully. “When handing over your business cards or receiving them from others, don’t be flippant about it. Be sure to make the encounter memorable. For instance, ask them an offbeat question, or share a remarkable story about yourself or an event in your life that creates some kind of connection.”
Embed Social Sharing into Materials
These days, the key to making your marketing materials stand out is ensuring they can be shared across social media platforms. If you design your materials in a way that they are “shareable,” chances are good that they will end up in someone’s newsfeed on Facebook or Instagram, which gives your materials a competitive edge in terms of standing out and ultimately helps to build up brand recognition much more quickly. When designing and developing materials, it pays to think about what will translate into more social shares.
“With a view in mind for what would get snapped on social media, NCLA created packaging that was designed for sharing. Similarly to Coke, who followed this formula and created a can that looked like one big can, but was in fact two small ones designed for sharing, NCLA created a twin pack with the words ‘Best Friends’ split across the packaging. This created inherent sociability and a strong network effect,” Anna Belacton explained in Forbes. “Ask yourself, how can I embed sociability and sharing into my product and packaging?”
Leverage the Power of Personalization
Last but not least, if you really want to ensure that your branded materials stand out, don’t forget to leverage the power of personalization. Research consistently shows that customers are wooed by personalized materials and subsequently pay much more attention to them. Email materials, for example, have a higher transaction rate six times higher when they are personalized. If a customer has to choose between a personalized material and a non-personalized, generic one, the personalized one will almost always be more effective in capturing their attention. Over half on consumers are more likely to buy from a buyer that recognizes them by name, including in branded materials like coupons and brochures, whether this is done physically or digitally. So if you’re not already personalizing your branded materials, now is the time to start.
In conclusion, investing in branded materials that stand out from the crowd is truly a wise investment in your business. The more your materials stand out, the more quickly you will build up brand visibility and recognition, which in turn translates to an improved bottom line.