Long live the brochure

I came across an article by Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for INC.com the other day where he throws into the mix an article entitled: ‘The Brochure is Dead’ this immediately pricked my ears up, it was quite a bold assertion and has been challenged since it was published.

During the early stages of the COVID pandemic of 2020 people have smugly stated that graphic design is dead, that brochure design is dead, based on the fact that because there is no more face to face meetings with clients and businesses anymore, no more exhibitions or salesmen going out to drum up business, that everyone must be concentrating on web based sales instead. This is partially correct, but what I have found is, although web designers have been kept very busy during the first year of lockdown, due to businesses having more free time on their hands, which has enabled them to concentrate on getting that ‘website finally done’ so that they finally have a full rounded marketing mix. Today I’ll concentrate on the latter, Brochures.

The importance of brochures, and for that matter any other printed material businesses use, is not to be taken lightly. Even if you have everything on your website, you would still have to market it to let people know your product and services are available. You would probably have to spend time and money on SEO to publicise your information, which is not an instant solution, or you could simply spend your time and money on having a credible brochure produced. What the web cannot duplicate is the tactile experience of a printed document. By holding a brochure in your hand gives your business credibility. A beautifully crafted designed brochure, with exquisite photography, first class production values, an excellent choice of paper stock and finishes cannot be replaced by the web. Banner ads and popups can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses can make a customer wary of clicking to a page or PDF download. Now with a printed brochure you do not have any of those fears and you can get it in the hands of your target audience quicker.

Although, you should not ignore the web and social media apps in today’s world, the printed marketing material embraces the web as part of the mix that should be embraced. Can you imagine going to an exhibition where an exhibitor asks you to write down their website, and in turn, expects you to go away and look it up. That will never happen, you need to give potential customers your business card and some printed material, brochures, flyers etc. To finish it off, how about a classy corporate bag? Leaving a positive impression about your company has got to be the way forward.

Also, print has a lasting quality to it. If your brochure has excellent production values it can stay in a house or office for months, if not years, you cannot say the same about your marketing on the Internet it can disappear instantly. Also, remember that the printed brochure or marketing material uses the most important sense first, touch, something you cannot replicate online. Designers understand this so when it comes to the look of your brochure a lot of thought to the feel, by the use of paper, card (stock) and finishes, which will give a customer a more rounded brand experience of your company. While we are on the subject of brand, print is also an excellent way of solidifying your company’s brand identity and image, endorsing your brand colours and your key messages all in a well crafted printed document, while assuring the reader of your brand’s quality. Consumers, by the way, are more engaged when reading documents rather than online, websites are often skim read as little as 15sec a visit and also people read digital screen text 20% – 30% slower rather than the printed matter. (Alshaali & Varshney, 2005).

Do give me a call on 07713 716 215 if you have a project in mind, I’d love to help.