Package Deal

Tune Up Your Marketing Materials

Try these tips to tune up the company image your six marketing elements convey.

First, create a logo that works equally well in color and black and white, is easily readable and conveys an appropriate image. A cute, homespun logo would be inappropriate for a company that wants to create a high-tech, hard-edged image, for example.

Each time someone is exposed to your company's materials and messages, they should get a consistent image. That means the logo applications, typestyles and paper stocks you choose for each and every tool must be consistent from one piece to the next. Avoid lightweight, low-cost paper stocks. They may save you pennies but could cost you thousands in lost customers.

When choosing visual elements, it's best to use either photography or illustrations throughout your materials--not both. If you're introducing a new product, using an illustration indicates that your product may still be on the drawing board, while a photograph communicates the product is complete and ready for sale.

Don't be tempted to choose your favorite colors when putting together your company's marketing materials. Instead, select colors that appeal to your target audience. Colors convey feelings, emotions and strong associations for most of us. Blue, a cool color that suggests conservative stability, is often used on corporate materials in the banking industry, for example. Ever wonder why the seats in many fast-food restaurants are orange? It's because orange suggests what's being sold is affordable and available to everyone. Select colors that appeal to your target audience first, and reflect the unique tone of your company second.

If you prepare proposals or presentations, particularly in a competitive situation, the quality of your tools and equipment is vital. Your proposals and leave-behinds must work to convince prospects your company is the right choice long after the presentation's over. So carry through all the elements of style--logo, good paper stocks and on-target colors--into your proposals and leave-behinds. It pays to use the latest presentation equipment and software too, so if you're not already a PowerPoint pro, brush up on your skills.

Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

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This article was originally published in the February 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Package Deal.

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