Creating a brochure or catalogue may seem a simple, easy choice for your business, but there are a lot of points to consider to make sure the time and cost is actually worth it.
If you’re looking to have a brochure designed and produced, or are creating one yourself, here are some of the points you should consider first.
Know your purpose
It may seem daft thing to have to clarify, but before you even start, you need to know your purpose. Just because you create a brochure each year, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best thing for your business. Why are you actually creating a brochure? You should really consider the following:
- Does your audience want a brochure? Will your audience be intrigued by a brochure, and more importantly buy from a brochure? Or would they react better to a website, an app or a letter addressed to them? Do some more research into your customer personas and understand what your audience will buy from.
- Why do you want a brochure? Is it just to fill your own ego of wanting a flashy brochure? If it doesn’t serve a purpose other than to make you feel good about your company, than maybe it’s time to reassess having a brochure.
- Has a brochure allowed you to achieve my objectives before? If you run a brochure or catalogue each year, has it worked? How have you measured your return on it, and if you are spending more money on the brochure than you are making in sales back from it, maybe it’s time to consider a different route.
If you aren’t considering these points, you may be throwing money away by not actually achieving what you had expected, or even reaching the customers you had hoped to reach.
Know your stock and how customers think of it
Some companies catalogue’s are easy and their products group together really well. Other companies, well, your stock may be a little more diverse, and it may be a little harder to get them into a logical order.
This is where you need to know how your customers interact with your stock, and what they would consider as logical associations. What would be add on sales, and where would they be best placed?
If you sell vastly different products, how are you going to make it easy for customers to know which bit of the catalogue they need to go to to find what they want. Think past the content page, and how if customers flick through your brochure, they’re going to know they have got to the right place.
We write a lot of blogs on copy writing, and how you can improve it. But you may not consider what you have to write in your brochure as copy that is worth worrying about. This is a huge mistake.
Though your images will showcase your product, your copy is what will compel your readers to actually take action and contact you, so it is certainly worth a bit more time.
With that thought, your product descriptions should consider your customers, and why they will be buying this product. Yes your product has these features, but how will this benefit your customer every day? Really think about your customer personas and why they buy from you, and remember to keep your brand’s voice strong throughout.
Also use all the opportunities throughout your brochure to sell. Don’t forget about the cover page, footers at the bottom of your page and the back of your brochure.
If you do the same brochure year in, year out, you may choose to stick with the same design, as that is what customers have come to expect. But is that a good thing?
If your brochure is going to sit in offices, or people’s homes, it needs to stand out from those around it. That goes without saying. But it also needs to explain your brand, company values and why the reader should pick your company, all within the first few seconds of picking the brochure up, and without you being stood next to the reader to explain it.
This is where (if you haven’t already) you may want to consult with a graphic designer, as putting an image of your latest product or your office, may not quite cut it on its own. A graphic designer will consider your branding, products and your target audience and create a design that says everything you need to say within the first few seconds.
This is something you probably think “I should really do that, but it’s going to cost a fortune to get all of my products shot properly”.
And yes, it will probably cost a bit of money to get them done by a reputable, commercial photographer, but the return you will receive from this will show it’s all worthwhile. Good, high quality images will make a world of difference to your brochure or catalogue, or to any of your marketing for that matter.
The age old saying of ‘an image speaks a thousand words’ is so true when it comes to consumers buying products. If you have got someone’s attention long enough to flick through your brochure, for them to find blurry, dark or tiny images, they are just going to throw your catalogue back down on the pile. You need to do your products justice by giving them a starring role in your brochure, which means taking the time to make them look right.
Clear call to actions
It can be easy to forget in the midst of writing copy, choosing images and organising all that content, to remember you actually need to include call to actions.
What do you want your customers to do, and when? Do you want them to come in and see you? Call? Or fill out a form and send it back? Do you want them to call before a certain point to take advantageous of an offer? Then all of this needs to be made clear in your call of action.
Without a call to action, all of your work will be in vain. So what calls to action should you use? Well, this is much more diverse if you are looking at online CTA’s, but for print you should still remember the following:
- Use clear, actionable phrases. “Call us today” is much more to the point then “Give us a call”
- Create a sense of urgency. You want them to contact you now whilst they are thinking about your product. Not think about giving you a call tomorrow, and then being completely forgotten.
- Have an offer. Why should they contact you over anyone else? What is your hook?
Have you had a brochure or catalogue created this year? What was your experience? Will you be producing another one next year?
If your looking to produce a brochure, why not have a chat with us and see how we can help? All our initial meetings are no obligation, meaning we can have a real conversation about what you are trying to achieve and the tools we could provide to help.
Take a look at the rest of our countdown to the 12 days of Christmas, for more advice, how to’s and examples of marketing during this festive season.