Brand collateral is the collection of design pieces that supports and promotes the core values and personality of your brand. It includes your website, business cards, brochures, packaging, letterheads, etc. Basically, anything that you put your logo, name, and colors on is considered brand collateral. These materials are designed to improve your sales and marketing techniques, provide consistency across your products and services, and create brand awareness and recognition.
Sound important? It definitely is! Brand collateral is a necessary and highly valuable asset to your business.
But quality brand design can also be very expensive. If you’re a young startup, a lean entrepreneur, or a new venture looking for funding it can be difficult to know where to spend money on your brand and where to save.
I want to provide you with a list of what I consider to be the most essential brand and brand collateral pieces. These are the basics, and every business model in every stage of development benefits from incorporating them into their brand strategy. These pieces work together to give your business the cohesive, professional branded image it needs to grow, thrive, and make an impact!
A logo is essentially the brand itself in it’s most basic, visual form. It’s not technically part of brand collateral, but I want to include it on this list because it is so essential. Your logo is the face of is your business. It’s crafted to reflect your business’ values and appeal to your target audience. It’s how people recognize and remember you. It’s a visual reminder of the quality of your products and services. It’s the purest, most effective summary of who you are and what you do. In short- it’s very, very important. Every business, no matter how big or small, how new or mature, absolutely needs a logo!
I consider a website to be among the most important brand collateral pieces. Did you know that 81% of the 18-34 age bracket and 69% of the 35-59 age bracket research online before purchasing a product or using a service? That’s a huge amount of people who are browsing online for the solutions they need. Having a website will allow you to engage these potential clients and provide the answers they’re looking for. A custom site, especially one that’s responsive and mobile ready, will vastly increase your visibility, credibility, and ultimately, your sales!
Social Media Pages
Having an established social media presence is becoming increasingly important for businesses. Your audience is looking to social media for customer support, networking, and social proof. A cohesive, branded social presence will allow you to promote your business, create targeted advertisements, form connections, and interact with your audience. Even on these more casual social networks, it’s important to be professional and provide a consistent brand experience. Use of branded avatars and banners and a consistent posting tone and schedule will help you make a strong impact on the millions of social media users!
Even with so much of business and commerce going digital, business cards are still a crucial marketing and networking tool that every professional should be armed with. Why? Business cards simultaneously perform a lot of tasks — they help you stand out, they show you are prepared, and they can encourage follow-ups and referrals. They’re more engaging than exchanging information via smartphones and more professional than jotting numbers onto scraps of paper. Even if you don’t use them often, handing out business cards when you have the opportunity is a great way to make a professional, engaging, and personal first impression for your business.
That’s it—four basic brand and brand collateral pieces that every business needs to make an impact in today’s commerce!