An essential element of any branding and marketing program is Collateral Design. Collateral is considered to be printed material that is used to provide information about a business, develop a brand personality and create a visual image to generate awareness to help sell products or services. These materials include anything with a company’s logo on it that helps establish and reinforce the brand positioning and visual brand identity. Collateral can take many shapes and sizes from brochures, business cards and sales sheets to catalogs, posters, packaging and in-store merchandising. The most important element of any collateral program is cohesiveness and consistency throughout the process and across every marketing element. Collateral is the manifestation of the brand in a tangible, tactile form.
A few examples of different types of collateral include:
Business cards are a critical part of any brand and advertising program, and they are typically very inexpensive to produce. Business cards provide an ongoing, tangible impression after a personal interaction.
Slightly larger than business cards but typically smaller than 8.5 x 11; rack cards are usually found in high foot traffic areas. These marketing tools can create a big visual impact when stacked together while segmenting specific service or product offerings on each card.
There are numerous sizes and shapes of brochures and include more information than rack cards or business cards, highlighting what the brand does or sells. Brochures are typically larger and more immersive providing a better opportunity to create a brand impression (personality, positioning, and greater visual elements), and help guide customers toward a purchase. Brochures can provide a thorough overview of the product or service and assist in creating desire.
These elements are the eye candy of the aisle and are the most important aspects of collateral design for retail products. Package design and in-store merchandising aligns with the key branding elements, and grabs attention in a store, helping your products stand out with designs that are both functional and aesthetic. Packaging and in-store merchandising bring your brand to life on your product and the shelf.
Billboards, Posters, Wraps:
Moving into large format print, this collateral’s primary purpose is to generate broad awareness for your brand, products, and services with limited content. Large format includes billboards, posters, wraps and many other types of placements. As primarily awareness drivers, this collateral helps your brand reach a broad range of potential consumers with valuable brand and product messages.
For brands that have a multitude of products, sales sheets and catalogs provide an avenue to showcase the full line of products in a branded environment. Sales sheets and catalogs allow customers to make purchase decisions directly with your company and are an excellent way to demonstrate the breadth of the brand’s offerings.
This tactic in an overall marketing program is designed to target specific customers with a particular product or offer. Direct mail is most effective when aligned with the overall brand look and feel, and when it has a strong call to action in the visual and copy.
Brand and marketing communication can take many forms throughout the brand lifecycle and customer journey. The key is to tie all the brand collateral into a cohesive and unified vision so that each touchpoint conveys the right brand image, messages, and personality. When done effectively, any combination of the above collateral will help create a strong brand impression that will be the foundation of product purchase and long-term customer retention.
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