Consistency is extremely important in creating brand identity. When brands use the same colors, logos, fonts, patterns, and imagery over and over again, potential clients and customers begin to associate those visuals with their business. The best way to develop brand consistency is through your business collateral.
Collateral is any visual or media used to promote your brand. It can be anything from a business card to a seasonal door decal on a storefront window. Any point of contact you have with potential clients and customers usually involves some sort of collateral item. However, there may be some types of collateral items you have overlooked. Think of your client/customer interactions and consider how you can infuse your brand into those interactions. Here are a some examples of collateral tools that ToriStar Media can help incorporate in your brand strategy.
Email Signatures: Email might be one of the most common places for people to come into contact with your brand. So don’t overlook this opportunity to showcase your brand through a simple email signature. Add your logo, your name, and links to your website and social handles to create brand recognition and encourage people to follow your brand.
Business Cards: With a little creativity, a custom business card is a great opportunity to create a lasting first impression. Whether you’re attending a networking event or simply create a new connection at a coffee shop, it’s helpful to have a business card at the ready. While we may be living in an increasingly digital world, business cards aren’t dead! They’re actually even more helpful for sharing your website URL and social media handles.
Presentation Slides: If you are presenting to clients, speaking at a conference or hosting a live webinar, branded slides can make your presentation look more professional and create better brand awareness. At the very least, incorporate your brand colors and fonts. But to take it to the next level and create better engagement, consider adding custom icons, patterns, and photos.
Handouts: Just like branded slides, something as simple as a handout can make a positive impression if you have an upcoming speaking engagement or presentation. They don’t have to be complicated, but incorporating your brand fonts, colors, and borders can go a long way in making your presentation look professional.
Apparel, Mugs & Bags: These are often the items that most commonly come to mind when people think of “brand collateral.” From trade show giveaways to prizes, they are very helpful for creating brand awareness.
Brochures & Flyers: Like custom apparel, brochures are more of an old school way to market and promote your brand. But they are far from extinct! You can digitally share information about your business or offering through a brochure. Make sure it looks consistent with the rest of your brand by adding fonts, colors, and photos to further perceived value.
Media Kit: Media kits are multi-page PDFs that provide statistics and audience demographics to prospective affiliates and advertisers. By branding your media kit, you have the potential to create a positive first impression with potential advertisers, and stand apart from the crowd.
Webinar & Podcast Graphics: Consistency creates recognition. But another benefit of creating branded graphics for items like podcasts is that you’re putting a visual with something that’s non-visual; an audio clip. Branded templates not only create consistency, but they can also save you time when you go to create graphics for podcasts and webinars week after week.
Contracts, Invoices And Quotes: Who says documents like contracts and quotes have to be boring? Make them a little more visually appealing and professional by adding your logo, brand colors and fonts.
Signage: This may seem pretty straight-forward, but signage is an important collateral item. If you have a brick and mortar shop or a pop-up shop, you’ll need a sign with your logo. Even if there are restrictions or guidelines you have to follow if you’re renting a space, you can be creative with your signage. After all, it needs to catch attention and create a positive first impression!
Instagram Graphics: Even though Instagram stories are meant to be a little more informal, you can use them to create brand recognition and engagement with your audience. Use brand colors, fonts and icons to create recognition with your audience.
Social Media Images: Do you share quotes, tips or insights on social media? Consider creating a template to maintain consistency and create recognition with your followers.
Facebook Header & Profile Photo: Profile photos may seem like a small and insignificant collateral item, but they’re going to be seen every time one of your posts pops up in a follower’s Facebook feed. So they’re worth a little bit of thought and intention. Icons and simple logos tend to work best for profile photos, because any small details often get lost when they’re downsized. But you can be very creative with your Facebook cover photo. Use it to highlight promotions and upcoming events.
Coupons: Are you offering a discount code via email for promotion or a customer’s order? Make it a little more visually appealing and professional by branding it!
Gift Cards: Make it fun to "gift" your services and products by branding a custom gift card.
Packaging Labels: How your product is displayed can make a big impact on whether or not customers purchase it. So put some time and intention into the design of your product packaging, packing slips and shipping boxes for consistency and a professional look.
Although your business may not utilize all of the collateral examples given above, I do recommend writing out your customer/client interaction process to see which collateral items would be helpful for your brand. At ToriStar Media, we're experts in graphic design! We're ready to help you with any number of business branding activities, from business collateral design, logo design, to social media branding and more. Give us a call today to discuss your brand objectives!