To remain competitive in today’s marketplace, businesses must ensure that their brand connects with customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle, eventually earning a fully connected customer. Surprisingly, according to one study in the Harvard Business Review, emotion is a key factor in what moves consumers along the path of buyer connectedness.
Marketers have known for a long time how deeply connected emotions are to the senses. Effective branding with visually appealing materials moves customers to a fully connected phase in the customer lifecycle.
This is why logos, brochures, and business cards for major companies are carefully designed with this in mind. How do you engage the senses and encourage customers to emotionally connect with your brand through your next printing campaign? Here are three key focus areas to ensure that your print marketing materials delight the senses and motivate customers:
Recent data suggests that up to 90 percent of information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. Not only that, but images are processed 60,000 times faster than text. If that sounds impressive, consider what Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence reports: “Neuroscientists have found that the human brain can process entire images that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds.” Tap into this science and power of images with your print marketing materials. Here’s how:
Results from various studies show that there is a relationship between color and emotions. As such, you should be using color to convey and solidify your brand’s tone.
Consider merging warm color tones to evoke emotions of calmness or highlight jazzy neon colors to express a modern feel. Another intriguing alternative to the standard white business card is colored card stock with contrasting font colors.
When selecting fonts for business printing material, whether for business cards, brochures, or letterhead, try to maintain a distinction between display type, used primarily for headers, and text or body type, used for longer portions of text.
Display type is generally larger and bold, while text or body type is smaller and easily legible. Certain fonts may work great for display type, but would never work in body text. The font layout and size of the headings will be a key factor in how visually scan-able your print piece is.
Size And Shape
Business cards, brochures, and postcards all serve different purposes. The size and shape of the product will vary should be determined based on the end goal of the print piece. For example:
Business cards can be custom cut with rounded corners for a smooth, modern look, while square corners present a classic appearance.
Brochures are available in a variety of folding and sizing options. When selecting whether to go with a traditional tri-fold brochure or a different approach, business owners can consider how much information needs to be displayed on the front cover. Brochures often use the front cover as an eye-catcher or introductory piece to encourage the reader to open it up and investigate what is inside.
In addition to color, font, size, and shape, the finish should be considered. These are features that add to the final visual effect of printed pieces like postcards and business cards:
- Either UV high-gloss finish or a matte/dull coating may be appropriate, depending on your audience and goal.
- Luster finish is a lamination that produces a glossy shine primarily used on business cards and postcards. It’s attractive as well as practical, as it increases durability.
- A pearl metallic finish has fibers ingrained within the card to make it shimmer like a pearl when turned from side to side. Elegant best describes this feature.
- Akuafoil gives a radiant sparkling appearance. Full color print on foil.
- Silk is a traditional material and is still popular today. It gives an exquisitely quality appearance.
- Foil accents of either gold, silver or copper can be added to give an added visual appeal. It is done with silk lamination.
- Natural-fiber cards are environmentally friendly and have a natural beauty.
Because we are all inundated with so much content throughout the day, what’s printed on marketing materials must excel to compete. As you create the content for your print marketing campaign, follow these guidelines for success:
- Define your objective: Content for a business postcard will be vastly different from that of a brochure. For example: since a postcard has a limited amount of space to deliver a message, concision is key. With brochures, your message can be more detailed.
- Solidify the business’ brand: The message of the content should be in alignment with the brand; it should support, strengthen, or clarify the brand message, and never contradict it or send a confused message.
- Go for clarity: Creativity is great, but clarity is better. If the customer is unsure of the message’s meaning or intent, then something went wrong with the content.
- Use more than words: Often when we think of content, we may assume that it refers to the written word, but pictures are exceptional for gaining attention. When designing the content for a business card, brochure, or postcard, use images, logos, and full-color pictures to deliver the information.
For some, having a printed piece in hand is an important part of the customer journey to becoming fully connected to the brand.
When a customer picks up and handles a printed marketing piece, the customer is engaged through the sense of touch. For many, the sensory experience is subconscious. Although the customer may not be aware to what degree the sense of touch informs his consumer experience, you should still make use of its effect. Choices for texture include:
- Lamination, which provides a smooth feel.
- Plastic stock options, which help print materials, stand out.
By printing high-quality appealing materials that delight the senses, business owners are on the path to finalizing the connection between their brand and the consumer. Once a consumer crosses over from highly satisfied to fully connected, a business can count on maintaining the relationship with a longtime and loyal customer.