Brochures can definitely serve a purpose in your sales process. The first task will be to understand why you need one and how it’s going to be used. This is key to producing a quality brochure that your target customers will want to pick up, read and respond to. Even keep hold of it until they need it.
Ask yourself 5 questions
Before you start talking to a designer or printer, answer some basic questions first. These will help you build a clear picture of what you want. Which makes it easier to create an effective marketing communication, such as a brochure.
On a very basic level you should consider if you’re targeting new or existing customers. It’s important in terms of creative execution and content. New customers don’t know your brand whereas existing customers are more familiar.
Gather as much information as you can about your audience. This will include demographic breakdown, geographical location, motivations and perceptions. Ultimately, it’s about understanding why they need your product or service.
Brochures can be used for product launches or to announce a new service. They are also great for companies who are celebrating a milestone birthday. Even raise the profile of a company who is known for one product but actually delivers a range of services.
You may have other marketing activity planned. Knowing where your brochure fits as part of this will help you with the design and content. It might be a stand-alone piece that needs to tell the whole story or part of a direct mail campaign, so just one element within a pack.
Your target audience have picked up your brochure, read the content and are now ready to take the next step. Just make it easy for them to do that. It could be to ring for a consultation, request an application form or visit your website.
To be honest, a good printer who knows their job will ask you these questions anyway. So, if you’ve already thought about these areas when you sit down to discuss your brochure, it will be a much easier conversation.
The reason why these questions are so important is because if you get it right, it will make your target audience pick up your brochure.
First impressions count
The front cover has to do it all. It needs to be designed in such a way that the reader will want to turn the page to find out more. A striking image, something that is trending or in fashion can work well. Maybe combined with an intriguing headline.
If you’re marketing to existing customers it’s all about producing something they recognise. It might be a new product or service. The design clearly needs to state that the brochure is from a familiar brand whilst the words will make them want to know more.
Of course, it’s not all about telling the whole story on the front cover. What you really need to do is grab the reader’s attention in the first instance. But actually, you want them to open up the brochure and read more of this great story.
What could be better than the reader showing your brochure to a friend, the family or work colleague. They’ve enjoyed discovering the content because it’s appealing, relevant and easy to digest. Design and copy working together. After all a brochure is tactile so why not share the experience.
What happens next?
So, if you’ve managed to get your audience to open your brochure, it’s a great start. The next step is to guide them through the content. Design and layout will play a big part and of course good quality content will engage them for longer.
Focus on solving problems and benefits. In fact, describe the sorts of issues your audience are facing, empathise and then give them a solution.
Show examples of how you have helped other customers in similar situations. Maybe even provide testimonials. Everybody likes to read reviews. What did others think about your product or service and this is a great way to do it.
Visualisation is a very quick way to deliver lots of information. You can draw a reader into a well- designed infographic. It holds your attention and you can move around absorbing all the details.
Just be careful not to use lots of jargon or over-elaborate descriptions. You know the ones, where you have to read the sentence over and over again then end up being none the wiser.
For the final sign-off
The back of a brochure is almost as important as the front. Clearly the design needs to flow from front to back. But it’s the main area where you would have all your company and contact details. That’s not to say a call to action can’t be included in the relevant sections within the brochure.
You would also include the micro copy or small print, any legal statements and disclaimers. It’s up to you how small you want it to be. Some designers like to make it stand out and the copy can be equally as engaging.
If you haven’t created a brochure before or maybe you have but it didn’t work well for you, it might be time to talk to your local printer. PPS print have an in-house design team who would be happy to tell you more.
What has your experience been with brochures, have you used them before? Why not leave a comment and let us know your thoughts?