Creating an effective brand is difficult. The brand needs to resonate with a large audience, be instantly recognizable, and most importantly, be consistent. But how does one create an effective brand and what marketing material should a business have in its arsenal?
This is marketing 101; a business without a logo is like a bird without wings.
A logo is the foundation on which an effective brand is built; it is the first step in the branding process and it sets the tone for the rest of your marketing material. This includes selecting a colour palette, iconography, typography and the overall “feel” associated with your brand.
- TIP: A Logo should be legible at any size, whether it is beaming from a 40 ft billboard or quietly sitting at the bottom of a business card. So make sure to review your logo at sizes ranging from small to large, this will save you major headaches down the road.
2. Business Cards
You don’t get an opportunity to make a great first impression twice.
Have you ever received a business card and thought “Wow, this is really cool”? Of course you have, we all have, and I’ll bet your first impression was that the person who gave you the card was serious about their business. Conversely, have you ever received a business card that looked like it had been printed on a home printer? Ya so have I, and I’ll bet your first impression was that the person wasn’t serious about their business.
A well designed business card does a lot of the talking for you, it is an excellent ice breaker and it positions you as a serious professional.
A website is the most effective way to market your business.
Newspaper advertising is in serious decline, and Yellow Pages advertising will soon be toast. So what will replace these titans of traditional advertising? The latest trends on Canada’s internet usage show an increase of 106.5% over the last 10 years, and there is no end in sight.
Websites are an amazing way to connect with customers in an informal way. People can review a business, its services, and information all from the comfort of their home. The web has also created a platform for consumers to share information about products and services they find valuable.
The latest stats suggest that about 80% of consumers are researching products or services online prior to making a purchase. If this trends hold true, your business cannot afford to be left out of the conversation.
4. Facebook Page
If you haven’t heard of Facebook you’ve been living under a rock for the last six years.
Facebook is the most popular social networking website in the world, and it currently has over 500 million active users! Many business are nervous about creating a Facebook page because there is limited control over who, and what users post. Although these are legitimate concerns the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Facebook enables businesses to connect with prospective clients in an informal, relaxed environment. These connections strengthen brand messages and keeps your business top of mind.
Let me just repeat one point again; Facebook has 500 MILLION users! That’s 500 million reasons to develop a business page today.
Paper newsletters may be a thing of the past but digital newsletters are just starting to come into their own.
Digital newsletters share the same benefits as other online marketing techniques, they are inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and they provide statistical data on visitors. A newsletter can be custom designed to match your branding and distributed for as low as 1 cent per contact.
Also, newsletters can be integrated into a customer relations management tool, which automatically sends information to prospective clients, taking the guess work out of managing leads.
We are not a paperless society quite yet, so the need for a professionally designed letterhead is as important today as ever.
A professional letterhead can be used for a variety of different applications, once again strengthening your brand. Common uses are invoices, testimonials, thank you letters, press releases, and quotes.
An envelope is an envelope, they haven’t changed much in over a two hundred years, however, they are still important in creating a branded experience.
Adding a logo to an envelope once again strengthens your brand, it positions you as a serious, professional business, and it allows you to reinforce your messaging.
Brochures are a great presentation tool and act as a snap-shot of your business.
Brochures can be used to outline your services, products, experience, and highlight testimonials. They can be valuable at trade shows, when giving presentations, or as a leave behind at an event. Much of marketing is about building relationships, and brochures can be a quick and easy way to provide new contacts with information on your business.
9. Presentation Folder
Whether your business consists of B to B or B to C, you will most likely need a presentation folder.
Presentation Folders are great, they allow you to stuff all kinds of informational material into a neat package. One of the most popular uses of a presentation folder is to stuff it with client specific one sheets. One sheets are simple informational sheets that can be printed on a home printer saving you time and money. This allows you to customize your packages based on the clients needs.
10. PowerPoint Presentation
There will come a time in your business career that you will need to give a formal presentation. It may be to a prospective client, internally to your staff, or at a networking group or conference. Bottom line is to be prepared, and have the tools you need to succeed.
PowerPoint is still the most popular presentation tool available today because of its easy to use interface and functionality. However, the default templates leave something to be desired. Once again a professionally designed PowerPoint template reinforces your brand, and presents you as a serious professional.
So that is my list of 10 Marketing Pieces All Should Have. In conclusion I’d like to leave you with something to chew on; whether it’s online marketing or traditional advertising one fact reins true, if you don’t market to your customers someone else will.