Friday, 9 September 2011

Brochure basics

Are you worried about producing a product brochure? Worry not – with a realistic plan and brainstorming with the relevant colleagues, you can come up with a compelling brochure that markets your product instantly.

The first and foremost thing you need to decide is the size and shape of the brochure. Depending on the content you have prepared, the size and shape varies. However, my advice is, go for the regular shapes. The awkward shapes and sizes not only make it cumbersome for the readers but also pull the hair out of the designer’s head.

However, the target audience remains the boss and you must be willing to change your design, shape and size of your marketing material as per their mindset. If kids are your target audience, they won’t go for voluminous texts. They would love to have their favourite cartoons and in their case, you can go for creative shapes – octagonal, hexagonal with sparse texts and lots of illustrations and pictures.

The font that you use determines the tone of voice of your brochure. I have seen people using Comic Sans MS font even in serious writing. I would recommend choosing the font as per the seriousness of your message. Verdana, Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond – all of these regular fonts carry seriousness with them. Calligraphic fonts like Lucida Calligraphy are widely used by the artists. The only advice from my side is, use the fonts as per your key message. Don’t use more than three different fonts in a single brochure.

Choosing the colour of the brochure is again yet another challenge. As you all know each colour has its own personality, you must be careful enough to match the personality of your reader with the colour that you are going to use in the brochure. The right colour makes your marketing message click in the minds of the consumers easily.

The images that you place along with your message should create a lethal combination to get your motive across. The images should be clear, forward facing and interacting with the audience. You can leave the headache of placement and adjustment to your designer. In case you are the designer, I would advice – don’t get taken away by any other designs, create your own design from the void. Have you heard? Some advertising agencies have empty rooms painted with perfect white to allow the creative guy to create something genuine out of nothing.

Now the content crunching – write and rewrite your message till you are satisfied with what you have written. Read aloud the paragraphs and sentences in your cubicle when you are alone – this will give you a fair idea of your mistakes and the tone of voice of your content.

And yes, start with a bang! The first few paragraphs should content all the 5Ws and 1H – i.e. let know the audience of what, why, where, when, which and how of your message. Don’t remember to make the starting sentence interesting – it’s an old trick of generating interest among the readers to read further. Then you can slowly start talking about the features and benefits of your product.

Remember not to put any jargons and bombastic words. You are not exhibiting your vocabulary power to the audience but you are trying to convince them, to make them buy your product. Keep in mind - not a single sentence should be out of order and every single paragraph should be linked to each other. This creates a wave of flowing words and sentences which arouses interest among the readers and eventually creates interest to purchase your products.

Pull quotes and testimonials are another way of highlighting your product or message in the brochure. If used properly, they alone can convince the readers. If the small box with the gist of your key message and call to action is well crafted, consumers will vie for your product without reading the whole brochure.

Slogan marketing still works and if you can come up with an interesting title, slogan and subtitles, it will not only organise your content well but will also make the read interesting.

Lastly, don’t forget to include a detail contact address at the end of your brochure. A URL of your website and contact mailing ID will make your brochure interactive. The interested customers will visit your website for detail information and even write to you about the product.

Go ahead and create your own product brochure!

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