Branding Your Company: Designing Marketing Materials for your Company

As a start-up or small business, many professionals decide to design their own marketing materials. If this is you, consider these factors: 

1)    Consistency 

All of your marketing materials, whether print or online, should have common characteristics and evoke a similar feel. The message should be clear and the message format should be the same. For an example of this, consider Target’s television campaign. Whether the ad is for a clothing designer, household products or seasonal items, the average viewer knows that it is a Target ad before the bulls eye symbol at the end of the commercial.  

Why? Because the use of white space, bold color and upbeat music is consistent. In other words, the message is delivered in the same format each time. 

2)    Color selection 

When choosing a color, it is extremely important to consider your target audience, not just your preferences. To start, research the feelings a color provokes when choosing a logo and supporting colors. For this you can do a google search, such as “color research”.   

One site that I find particularly helpful is: http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/a/colorpsych.htm

In addition to this, consider cultural stereotypes. For instance, if your ideal client were a professional male, age 35-50, blue, instead of purple, would be a better choice. This is a very basic example but you get the idea. You wouldn’t choose a dark green for a children’s company.   

3)    User Friendly 

One popular problem with marketing materials is that they cater to the ego of the business, not the customer’s needs.  

It is pertinent that your material is easy to use, that the potential client can easily understand the benefits of using your service and/or product, and that you are offering information that they find valuable. 

To do this, keep the text in your materials to a minimum. Remember most people are busy and they will not take the time to read your 3-page essay. Also, use visuals when possible to tell your story (photos, charts, graphs, sidebars). 

In addition, avoid industry jargon. Remember that you are writing for the average consumer and consumers are impressed with what you can do, not your large vocabulary or usage of acronyms.  

And lastly, offer information that will benefit your prospect, whether they decide to use you or not. By offering a tip or two, you are showing that you are an expert. And people want to hire an expert.    

There are many other things to consider when designing your marketing materials, but these basics will put you on the right road. Feel free to leave your comments. I’m always interested in your feedback. 

Towanda Long, The Café Lady

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