When it comes to your printed business collateral, how do you know when it’s time for a change? There are several reasons why a change may be warranted. Changes can be in the design of the logo or printed material, in the type of paper stock or printing process or, perhaps, in the message itself.
Large companies think long and hard before changing their logos. Some companies keep their logos for life while others change periodically, either to keep their brand fresh or because of product expansion, for example. The original Apple logo was far from the streamlined graphic of an apple that they currently display. It featured a very intricate drawing of Isaac Newton sitting under a tree with upper and lower banners displaying the text “Apple Computer Co.”. Today, a piece of fruit without text is all that is needed to identify the mega-corporation.
When a printed piece is not effective, design changes can make a huge impact in how your message is received. Unique paper stocks and coatings can also add visual (and sometimes tactile) appeal and will add professionalism, all which goes into how you are received and, most importantly, remembered by clients and prospects. When your printed collateral stands out in a positive way, you’re more likely to be contacted when your products or services are needed.
It’s important to first identify key information which will answer the question about whether your brand or collateral needs updating. One of the first things to consider is whether your printed material has recently started to become ineffective or whether it has been ineffective from the start. Do you keep using the same, ineffective collateral and expecting different results?
Marketing, whether printed like a Direct Mail piece or visual like a television advertisement is a great example of how changing the message can lead to different results. There’s a television campaign for a GNC supplement for men that is currently running. It’s comprised of two separate commercials offering free samples by texting a keyword to a particular phone number. Each commercial gives a different keyword: “Clout” on one commercial and “Able” on the other. By measuring the responses of each keyword, GNC can track which commercial is most effective and direct their marketing accordingly. This is a popular feature of many Direct Mail campaigns. Pick a geographic area and send several different messages or offers to the same area. See which one results in the most responses and you’ll know what your audience prefers.
There are reasons why your current printed material may not be giving you the response you desire. If your products or services are something people want or need and your competitors are getting all the business, it’s time to find out why. Remember that how you look in print is a reflection of you and your company. How do you want to be remembered?