As hard as you may try, you can only be in one place at a time. Your company brochure, however, can be in many places, helping you influence potential and existing customers. An effective brochure clearly and succinctly outlines what a company is about and what it has to offer. A poorly constructed brochure only confuses, frustrates and chases potential customers into the welcoming arms of the competition.
The following tips explain how to design a brochure that will properly represent your mission, outline what you have to offer your target audience and serve as an effective marketing and sales tool.
A good headline is key. The headline on the front of your brochure should always include the interests and perceived problems of your targeted audience, and be followed by the solutions you can provide. Many business owners mistakenly lead with their company's basic information. It's imperative, however, to capture your audience's attention and prompt them to read the rest of the brochure. Why bother taking the time to create a great brochure if your audience only reads the front and then discards it?
Remember the basics. Don't ignore the basics when creating a brochure; it should include standard information, such as company name, at least two types of contact information, a logo and tagline. It should also include a headline on the front and two or three brief items outlining benefits your organization can provide. All text should be in brief, easy-to-read blocks to provide clarity for the reader. Add graphic images and photos of your product, services and/or key personnel for an eye-catching touch.
Don't confuse the reader. Avoid the temptation to list too much information on your brochure. Too many messages will confuse your audience and dilute your main points. Focus on what interests your target audience in a succinct manner, and they'll come away with an accurate understanding of what you can offer them and how you'll do it. It's OK to be proud of your business, but not at the expense of cluttering your brochure with irrelevant information.
Avoid big words. There's no need to impress your target audience by using hard-to-understand words that will send the reader scrambling for a dictionary. Your goal is to provide the reader with information regarding your organization, and triple-word-score Scrabble words and lengthy acronyms are hardly the best way to accomplish this. Plain speak is the best course of action.
Include a call to action. Don't assume your audience will be moved to contact you or purchase your product or services after they read your well-crafted brochure. An effective brochure should include a call to action, such as an offer for a free product sample or a free estimate or gift. This will entice readers and give them an incentive to act. Sometimes people need that extra motivation to contact you.
Don't be flimsy. A firm brochure is the equivalent of a firm handshake; it promotes confidence and competence. The weight, texture and overall feel are some of the first things someone will notice about your brochure. Use high-quality paper with a glossy finish to create a brochure that stands out. Handing out or mailing thin, flimsy brochures will signal that you put little thought and even less effort into developing your marketing materials.
Regardless of your business size or financial or design resources, the above tips will assist you in creating a brochure that will properly represent your organization, impress potential customers and call them to action.
Melissa Croweis the vice president of marketing servicesat VistaPrint, an online supplier of graphic design and printed products to small businesses and consumers. Please visit www.vistaprint.com for more brochure ideas.