Helping Customers Make Smarter Decisions About Their Brochures and Other Collateral
When customers make an order, they’re often in a rush. That’s no great revelation. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder about the things they’re forgetting to consider.
For example, how a customer plans to actually use a brochure should play a big role in choosing physical features like its size, paper quality, and type of coating.
But I also think our customers can zip right by these considerations because they’re consumed with the copywriting and graphic design.
My company has blogged about the importance of customers being well-organized with their printing projects. Yet we all know that some habitually function behind the 8-ball.
But all is not lost. When we can get involved early enough in our customers’ brochure planning process, we can understand how they plan to use the brochure. And that’s when we have an opportunity to serve as a print advisor as much as a print provider.
The best way to show you what I mean is to throw out some examples.
What if their sales team will use the brochure on the road?
The road can be tough on salespeople and on collateral. For materials that are destined (temporarily) for car trunks, back seats, suitcases, or briefcases, maybe we can take the time to suggest:
- A more durable paper stock
- A heavy-duty color coating
- Having them shrink-wrapped in bundles
What if the brochure will be used at trade shows?
Let’s help customers keep their brochures from drowning in a sea of swag and other collateral. How? By making them stand out!
What if the brochure (or any piece for that matter) will be mailed?
We can spare our customers the pain of unexpected high postage costs by making sure they understand what might seem obvious to us: To secure optimal postage rates, you need to maintain specific sizes and weights.
Also, sending material without an envelope means adhering to Postal Service design requirements. Do they realize that?
The possible mailing challenges that can emerge underscore how valuable a printer’s mailing and distribution support can be.
Just how big does that order really need to be?
I’m sure there are times when customers probably don’t need an order so big that it could last them years.
What if they created a series of brochures that were more audience-specific and ordered them in smaller batches?
Digital printing technology has driven down the overall costs of brochures. This fact should enable our customers to be a lot more creative and strategic with the variety of print collateral they produce.
A new Golden Age for print collateral?
I think printers are positioned to help usher in a new era for print collateral use. Maybe calling it a new Golden Age is a bit much.
On the other hand, as more and more businesses and organizations pour money into digital marketing, print collateral can serve as an effective differentiator.
And this is an especially compelling point when you consider the research on sensory marketing. Holding — and touching — print collateral can be a powerful force.
If all this sounds a bit too lofty for your taste, let me come back down to the ground with my original point: Brochures and other collateral are created to be used in real-world situations.
When possible, let’s help customers envision their collateral’s actual use way before it ever goes to print. Then, let’s make suggestions that can help that collateral perform better than ever.
If we do that, there’s no telling where printers and their customers can go — together.
About the Author
Chris Yuhasz founded POV Solution as a basement desktop publishing business 27 years ago in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Today, POV Solution provides printing services from Cleveland, Ohio, supporting clients coast-to-coast with commercial printing, graphic design, and spot UV printing for finishing services.
Chris Yuhasz founded POV Solution as a basement desktop publishing business 27 years ago in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. POV Solution provides printing services from Cleveland, Ohio, servicing clients coast-to-coast with commercial printing, graphic design and spot UV printing for finishing services.