Creating proper collateral materials vital to business success
HOUSTON – The brochures, business cards and other informational tools often speak for a company long after its representatives have left.

“Many times the perceived quality of your collateral materials create the perceived quality of your company,” said Bryant Price, president and CEO of Houston-based Agama Advertising. Price offered the following advice for effective brochures and sales materials.

Preemptively Answer Questions – Good collateral materials should answer the questions the audience has before they are asked. Most readers aren’t looking for a list of features or technical descriptions. They will have specific pieces of information that will influence their decision-making process. This can require a little thought, and even surveying existing and potential customers to find what they really want to know.

Know the Audience – The first commandment in communications is, “Know thy audience as thyself.” The style of communication for a group of elementary school teachers will be highly different than from how information is presented to a group of executives. Make sure the language and visuals are appropriate and relevant to the target audience.

Know The Purpose – Before creating a piece, determine its purpose. Is it to answer questions and concerns of potential customers? Is it to convince a potential client to call for more information? Is it designed to address a specific issue facing a specific audience? The design and language of a piece should reflect its purpose and how the piece will be used and consumed.

Consistent Look and Feel – All collateral materials should have a common look and feel to give them consistency and make it easy for the reader to visually connect them to a single source. All pieces should have a common color pallet, type font, and arrangement of elements. This is a powerful tool for creating the perception that the source of these materials is competent and professional. Invest in Quality – The perceived quality of collateral materials is often the perceived quality of the company behind them. If the collateral materials are cheap and poorly produced, many potential customers will think the same will be true for a firm’s goods or services. It is worth the time and money to do it right. If no one in a company has the capabilities to create top-notch collateral materials, it’s a good idea to find a competent advertising agency to help.

“Good collateral materials can help a company reach success, but bad brochures can actually hinder the sales process,” Price said. “Investing in good materials is investing in the success of your enterprise.”

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