Starting a Brand? Here's the Brand Collateral You Need
Brand collateral refers to all the digital and print assets you use to showcase your brand, communicate your message, and offer value to your audience. These assets communicate your value proposition, carry out your positioning, align with your brand strategy, and give your brand valuable consistency across every channel.
For new businesses, creating high-value brand collateral from the beginning can set your business up for success right from the start. In this article, we’ll dive into several common types of brand collateral, the purpose of each type, and how to leverage your collateral to increase your leads, sales, and business growth.
Developing high-quality brand collateral is a crucial part of your overall brand strategy process because one of the biggest things that makes a business successful is widespread brand recognition. You could have the highest-quality product or the best services in the world, but if consumers don't know about it, you won't sell a thing!
This awareness gap is an especially challenging problem for those who are branding a young startup. In order to build your startup into a successful company, you've got to build brand awareness with your potential clients as soon as possible. And leveraging the right set of collateral with the right marketing tools in place is the best way to do it.
In addition to using the right collateral at the right time, it's important to be consistent across every type of collateral. When your business uses the same style of collateral across every marketing channel, you make it easy for your target customerto become familiar with what you offer. And that familiarity makes every sales effort easier and every campaign more effective.
Having high-quality brand collateral is a significant benefit to your business. But what types of collateral should you prioritize? Here are eight popular marketing collateral items that your business can use to reach more customers, increase sales, generate leads, and build valuable brand recognition:
Your brand story is the backbone of your brand strategy framework, and should be one of the first things every startup develops. It consists of all the messaging elements that make your business uniquely yours. Your brand story should include your company values, vision, mission, and purpose, plus your positioning in the marketplace.
If you've never recorded your brand story before, our brand storycan serve as a great example.
Once you have your story written, you can use it to guide the messaging and content you create from this point, forward.
Your company has unique expertise, and offering a free downloadable ebook is a great way to share that knowledge with your prospects. Plus, offering a high-value collateral item for free increases the perceived value of your product or service in the minds of your customers— helping you close more sales.
If you have unique or valuable information that would benefit your target market, and encourage them to buy from you, consider creating an ebook to generate a great first impression with your potential leads.
Like eBooks, blog posts help you stand out as the expert in your industry. In-depth blog posts that describe your creative solutions to common customer problems, offer helpful tips, or explain tricky concepts related to your product or service are especially popular.
A blog post can be a particularly effective piece of marketing collateral because it also serves to drive better engagement on your website.
Infographics are visually compelling design elements that communicate important data or information at-a-glance. They often include your business logo, website, and social handles, and should use your brand colors for consistency.
If you have compelling data or information to share with your potential clients that can help them see why your business is the best choice, consider designing an infographic as part of your marketing collateral.
Pillar pages are kind of like extra-long, very detailed blog posts with a table of contents for easy browsing, and multiple links to additional resources. You'll often see professional service companies use this type of marketing collateral to offer an in-depth look at a particular topic related to their offerings.
Landing pages are single website pages that often showcase a product or service. They're also one of the best marketing tools you can use to gather information from potential leads.
There are a number of ways you can use a landing page to grow your business. You can link social media posts to your landing page to share more detailed information about your offering, use your landing page to promote an event and accept registrations, or offer other collateral on that page, like your eBook. Think of your landing page like an interactive digital brochure that's totally customizable to your unique business needs.
At ZeBrand, we leverage landing pages for these uses, and more. Take a look at a few examples:
- Our Brand Guideline Builder landing page, showcasing our branding tool
- Our Brand Coaches landing page, offering our premium brand coaching service to entrepreneurs and startups
- Our Brand Assets sales page, with details and pricing information for our branded assets and templates
Your own custom-designed branding materials, like your sales and marketing materials, website, social media posts, logo, and more all fall into this category of marketing collateral.
When you use ZeBrand's marketing tools, you have the opportunity to easily design your own social media cover photo, blog post layouts, presentations, and more. You can even create a custom logo and choose eye-catching brand colors that match your visual identity. These brand collateral elements can easily be downloaded and used across all your digital and print materials, like business cards, digital brochures, your weekly newsletter, and more.
Case studies are a good way to prove that your business has successfully devised creative solutions for the real problems your clients face. Use case studies to describe your ideal client, provide tangible evidence of the quality of your product or service, and to help each potential client understand exactly how you can help them.
This list is far from comprehensive. There are hundreds of ways to showcase your brand and make memorable first impressions with your digital and printed materials. Depending on your business' specific objective, it may make sense to create only two or three of these branding elements. Over time, as your company grows and your brand recognition expands, you can add more tactical material to your marketing strategy, one piece at a time.
Which marketing elements resonate most with your potential clients can largely depend on what stage of brand awareness they're currently at. There are various stages of brand awareness, from totally unaware to huge brand fan.
Knowingwhatmarketing collateral to usewhereis essential for your brand. Create consistency across multiple channels by using the same designs, colors, photography style, fonts, and messaging on every channel— from your social media and blog posts to your business cards and exhibition stands. That way, even though you're using different collateral items in each place— depending on your clients' stage of awareness— your brand remains cohesive and easily recognizable everywhere it shows up.
The expert brand strategists at ZeBrand understand how to use each element of your marketing collateral effectively. They'll work with you to sift through your collateral items, organize your best brand assets, and align your visuals with your marketing strategy in an effective way.
If you're unsure where to start, contact ZeBrand!
Now that you've developed an incredible portfolio of business-boosting marketing collateral, it's time to see how well your assets are performing!
Here are a few ways you can gather the essential information you need to analyze the success of your marketing collateral:
Ask your existing customers: How likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend or family member? While this question doesn't directly track the impact of specific collateral items, it does give you an understanding of how new customers may perceive your branding. If your existing customers rate you highly, you know your collateral is likely right on track. But if you receive some low scores, you may be lacking brand consistency, be marketing to the wrong audience, or may need to make some adjustments to your product or service.
Try running a survey on social media to see how aware of your brand your prospective customers currently are. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer an easy ad tool that allows you to poll a group of users on whether or not they recognize your branded graphics, if they're familiar with your business, and if they recall seeing any of your ads recently.
This poll can be incredibly revealing, especially if your marketing strategy has included significant advertising to this group. If your best potential customers are unaware of your business, it's time to reevaluate your marketing collateral!
A third way you can test to see how well your marketing collateral is working is to take a look at your sales and marketing data. How many impressions does it take before potential customers begin to consider making a purchase? If potential customers visit your website after seeing just one or two ads and a social media post, you have highly effective marketing collateral and strong brand consistency! But if it takes 20-30 impressions before you capture your customers' attention, you may not yet be an easily recognizable brand.
High-quality collateral is an essential element of your company's brand identity. Not only does the right collateral help you build brand awareness and generate leads, it helps you keep your brand consistent across every marketing channel. If you're feeling overwhelmed, unsure, or just want a second opinion, reach out to the expert Brand Coach teamat ZeBrand. Together, we can create brand collateral worth noticing!