Challenger Brands must pay close attention to every detail in order to get the most from their marketing, and that includes graphic design. All marketing materials utilize some form of graphic design. Graphic design is a critical aspect of the overall perception and image of a Challenger Brand, and it plays a key role in the success of the specific promotional materials.
The design of a Challenger Brand’s promotional materials has two primary objectives. First, it must generate attention in what is typically a very cluttered environment. Second, it must help the target audience quickly and easily absorb the information presented and why it will benefit them directly.
But, what makes graphic design effective? Here are six very important rules that all promotional material should incorporate to maximize response and overall penetration.
Have one dominant feature – An effectively designed promotional piece focuses on one dominant feature. This feature is typically an image or a headline. It is designed to catch the eye and draw the reader into the body copy or other sales messaging. Typically, you only have about two to four seconds to grab the attention of your targeted reader. A good rule to remember is to keep it simple – when you try to emphasize too much, you end up emphasizing nothing.
Minimize typeface variety – Use one, maybe two, typefaces – total. Using too many typefaces upsets the flow and makes your piece harder to read. Remember that not only is the typeface contributing to a compelling story, it must effortlessly guide your reader in your intended direction.
Text must be easy to read – The text of any promotional piece is where most of the selling occurs. Font choice is a critical element that could dramatically increase the readability of your piece. Before you embark on writing your copy, have a good understanding of whom you are addressing, what style they would be most comfortable with and what would most likely get them to respond.
Type should not be too small or condensed. Narrow columns always read better than wider columns. Paragraphs should be short and to the point. Long-winded sentences and paragraphs typically scare readers away, especially those who have little time to devote to your sales message. Try using bullet points and subheads to break up text and help guide the reader through your message. The more inviting you make your copy, the greater the chance it will be read.
White space is good – Don’t be afraid of white space. You don’t have to fill every inch of your promotional piece with copy and pictures. White space makes everything within it jump out and get noticed. Sometimes, saying less makes a bigger impact.
Use relevant images – It’s true what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words. Images in promotional pieces must help support your message, not confuse the target audience. One main image typically works better than multiple supporting images. Try to use an image that grabs the attention of the reader and draws them into your sales copy. But, be careful not to use an attention-grabbing image that could portray a negative impression of your company.
Tell them what to do – You’ve managed to get your target audience’s attention. You’ve aroused their interest and desire. You’ve escorted them through your clear and concise text. Don’t leave them now. Most companies forget to include this essential final step: Tell them to do something. Make sure that all of your promotional pieces have a strong call-to-action (CTA) built into the design. If a prospect reads to this point, you have someone who is very interested in what you have to say or sell. Tell them to buy. Tell them to call. Send them to your website to enter a contest. Just tell them to do something and watch them do it!
Creating effective promotional materials is not an easy process. It is both an art and a science. Many companies do not take these materials as seriously as they should, and as a result, they never get the response rates or return-on-investment they are capable of achieving.
So, whether you create your own materials or hire a professional firm, make sure you apply these simple, proven rules.