Graphic Design: Maintaining Brand Consistency with Graphic Standards
March 23rd, 2011
Your brand and visual identity is how people recognize you in the marketplace. Maintaining a consistent look and feel of your brand is critical to making sure customers recognize your product or service and feel comfortable doing business with you. To ensure your visual brand or logo is always consistent, develop-and adhere to-a written policy of graphic standards.
Large corporations and universities, for example, typically manage all marketing efforts through a central communications department to ensure the organization's brand is always consistent. But what if you are a small business? How can you make sure your brand is always on point?
Begin by engaging a graphic design firm to create your logo. In addition, request documentation of graphic standards and brand guidelines to govern the use of your visual identity. Train anyone who communicates on behalf of your organization to follow these guidelines explicitly, including the specifications for the size, color, font and dimensions of the company logo. For print communication, specifications can include what color and quality of paper the company logo will be printed on, including standard formats for flyers, newsletters, letterhead, brochures, business cards and postcards.
By standardizing the use of your brand and visual identity across all marketing channels, you present a uniform appearance that communicates effectively with all audiences and maintains a consistent image for your organization.
Posted by Kent Callison
Marketing: Using Multi-Channel Marketing to Enhance Customer Relationships
February 25th, 2011
Communicating with your customers is a critical component of a successful marketing plan. Communicating effectively, however, can be difficult if you don't utilize the channel(s) of communication your customers prefer. While some may be happy receiving emails about new products and services, others may prefer a postcard or brochure in the mail. Some may prefer searching your website or reading your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Still others are most comfortable with a phone call or personal visit. As your business grows, it can be increasingly difficult to recognize which channels of communication your customers prefer and in what context they prefer them.
One simple way to learn how your customers want to communicate is to simply ask them with a multi-touch, multi-channel campaign. The process is pretty straight forward:
- Contact your customers via email, postal mail, website or other means.
- Ask the customer to specify which channel of communication they prefer.
- Use the channels they specify in the future.
There are many benefits of determining a customer's preferred channel.
- Improve the chances of marketing materials actually reaching your recipients
- Reduce time and cost associated with ineffective methods
- Enhance customer relationships
- Increase the frequency of communication
- Improve your return on marketing investment
Contact us to learn more about VisualHub and other ways you can use multi-channel marketing to improve your return on investment. While you're are it, let us know the channel you prefer as well.
Posted by Harold Williams
Marketing: Simple Steps to Professional Marketing Literature
January 21st, 2011
Professional sales and marketing literature has a direct impact on a customer's perception of your company, and a direct impact on whether they will do business with you. Specifically, reducing errors increases sales. There's a reason you learned spelling, punctuation and grammar in school instead of relying on a spell checker on your computer. Spell checkers, although very good at identifying egregious misspellings, are poor at detecting grammatical errors, repeated words and punctuation mistakes. Those are the mistakes that stand out more than any other content in your sales literature. Such errors make your business look unprofessional and drive customers to look for more professional companies.
Here are some tips to make sure your sales and marketing literature is ready for print:
Print out your documents.
Don't rely on reading your documents on a computer screen. Studies show it is easier to miss errors when reading from your computer. Edit your pages in a contrasting ink and then correct your mistakes on the computer. Repeat until all mistakes are corrected.
Get a second opinion.
When you spend a lot of time writing content for brochures and sales literature, it can be easy to miss a misspelled word or grammatical error. Have another person read through your edited content and help identify any awkward wordings or spelling mistakes.
Proof again when layout is complete.
Make sure you review your content in its final context before committing to print. Your spelling and grammar may be right, but the flow of the document and placement of text could look unusual or unexpected when prepared for printing.
If you still aren't sure about your proofreading, consider enlisting the help of a professional proofreading service. Williams Graphics offers proofreading services, as well as copywriting and content development for our clients. Remember, as with all things in business, there is no second chance to make a first impression.
Professional sales and marketing literature can be very successful at opening new doors, but too many mistakes can also result in closed doors as well.
Posted by Harold Williams