An effective brand creates an enduring perception in the minds of your customers and distinguishes you from your competitors. An investment in branding can pay off in many ways.
Increase mind share. When you want a cola, you think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi. If you need a bandage, Band-Aid comes to mind. Are you top-of-mind in your market segment? The sensory components of printed materials engage readers on an emotional level, connecting customers to your brand in a way electronic marketing can’t match. Consider incorporating a gloss varnish, embossing, a distinctive die cut, or one of the many textures now available in papers and other substrates.
Build loyalty. A memorable experience with a quality brand creates loyalty, which translates not only into the likelihood of a repeat sale but also an increased probability that the customer will buy related items from the same brand.
Benefit from referrals. People who have never used your product or service may still recommend it if they’ve encountered your brand enough times to develop a sense of familiarity. Printed collateral can be more visible to the casual observer as the prospect doesn’t have to consciously seek out your message. Include your social media information on your printed products.
Command a premium price. A powerful brand can lift your product or service out of the ambit of a commodity, so you have buyers eager to pay more for what you’re selling. Many companies sell coffee, so what makes people stand in line and pay top dollar at Starbucks?
Lower your marketing cost in the long run. Although you have to invest resources to create a strong brand, once it is established you can maintain it without having to re-tell your story. Many budget-conscious marketers rely heavily on electronic media, but research shows that people still prefer print. We simply don’t have the same visceral reaction to an e-brochure as a professionally printed piece.
Less risk for the consumer equals more sales for you. If someone is put on the spot to make a decision, he will most likely choose the brand-name supplier. Consider monthly postcard marketing so prospects interact with your brand regularly. Printed materials have the advantage over electronic media based on portability and permanence.
Building an effective brand is a continuous process. Evaluate your brand’s market position periodically to make sure it’s fresh and relevant.