Consistency and Professionalism. These are the two aspects of your corporate brand identity that are most strongly impacted by your printed materials. What printed materials? Your business card, your brochures, your stationery, your invoices… any piece of paper that you put in front of a customer or potential customer. It all needs to be branded consistently, and professionally produced. Anything short of that will negatively impact your brand.
Mandalay Solutions can help you with any of the printed materials below, and more. If you don’t have a good business logo, or wish to revise your logo, our designers can work with you to create one. We can then apply that logo, along with a consistent visual theme, to all of your printed materials.
A clean, crisp and professional business card that identifies your business logo, a very brief something about your business, and prominent contact information should be the basis of all of your printed materials. Anything else that you put in front of a customer should mesh with the design of that business card.
Always remember that your business card is often your first impression to a customer that you haven’t even met! That’s half the purpose of business cards, so that they can be passed along as an embellishment of “word of mouth” marketing. You only get one opportunity to make a first impression. Do you want to make that impression with a generic, poorly designed, or poorly produced business card?
Brand identity needs to be as strong as possible on your business card. But, don’t forget that it’s still a business card! There is a very low limit to how much information you can fit on a business card without making it a cluttered mess.
Brochures & Leaflets
A lot of businesses don't "get" this aspect of their brand marketing. They seem to think that merely presenting the information is enough. Their representatives will proudly hand out cruddy fifth generation photocopies of generic-looking documents with pen-and-ink corrections without batting an eye. They do this simply because it’s all they know. It's the only way the information was ever presented to them, they have no other way to present it, and it's not their job to come up with better sales materials. (and they likely would not do any better job of it if they were to try!)
This is an area where your business can apply some brand identity, and a great deal of added professionalism. Will it cost more? Of course it will, but the positive impact that it has on your potential customers will be worth the expense!
You could easily overlook stationery, as many businesses do not feel that it is a necessary investment. To do so is to overlook a powerful method of corporate brand reinforcement. There is simply no good reason to NOT include your company’s identity on EVERY document that circulates through or leaves your office! And there is no better way to do it than with a clean, professionally-designed stationery.
Much like your stationery, your invoices are another way to silently build your brand identity. Customized invoices also go a long way towards improving the perceived professionalism of your business.
Anyone can set up a generic financial management software package and use the generic standard invoice that comes with it, or use a standard word processor template to create a generic-looking invoice. While those options are surely better than a hand-written invoice, they yell "cheap" much louder than they yell "professional".
Using your company logo, your colors, your standard print styling elements, and even your personal message, will set your invoices apart from the rest. Even something as simple as your invoice can and should leave your customer with the feeling that "these guys are sharp, I want to do business with them again."
Do you sell a product with a label on it? Do you put products in boxes? Do you ship products to customers? All of these scenarios have one thing in common: The opportunity to build your brand identity via good labeling.
Everything that leaves your facility, be it to a wholesaler, a retailer, a customer or the shipping company, should be professionally labeled with a strong focus on your corporate brand. Again, go back to the big boys. Every pair of Nike shoes comes in a brightly colored box with a big Nike swoosh on it. Every Dell computer comes to you in a big box with a huge Dell logo on all sides. Every can of Coca Cola that you buy comes in a boldly branded can, that came from a branded box, that came to the store in a big branded Coke truck!
Consider the required permanence of each label. Shipping labels and boxes need to be sufficient to maintain their branding, shipping and identification information long enough to reach their destination, but not much more than that. Product labels need to be longer lasting than that. Ideally, you want your brand identity to stay with your product for the extent of its useful life without falling off or becoming obscured over time. We can help you determine what kind of labeling is best for every facet of your business, and design and procure those labels for you.
We recommend starting with our Off-line Brand Analysis Report to determine the health of your brand and what you can do to improve it.