How To Create The Perfect Brochures for Branding Your Business
Brochures are the perfect way to build brand awareness and tell your story. But how can you make them both beautiful and engaging? Here are some tips!
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You think brochures are a thing of the past? Think again! These simple print materials can be a fantastic way to boost your brand presence and show off your professional side. We’ll teach you how to create a brochure that will attract the right customers!
Although it's not nearly as common nowadays as digital marketing, print marketing is still effective. Since there isn't such an overload of print marketing, these channels inspire trust with customers and drive better engagement.
Here are some numbers:
- 82% of people trust print ads the most when making purchase decisions. (Marketing Sherpa)
- 80% of people will act on a print ad, compared to just 45% for digital (Carbaugh)
- 92% of 18-23-year-olds say it’s easier to read print than digital materials (Vista Print)
So, if you’re still wondering whether you should invest time and money into print advertising, the answer is a straightforward “yes.”
One of the most common types of print marketing are brochures, so let’s go ahead and explain what a brochure is and how it can benefit your business branding.
What is a brochure?
You probably know that a brochure is, usually, a print marketing material. But what is a brochure, and how does it differ from other similar materials such as fliers and pamphlets?
Brochures are multi-page marketing tools that usually utilize high-quality graphics and lots of colors.
Brochures can be:
- Bifold: a brochure folded into two sections;
- Trifold: a brochure folded into three sections;
- Z-fold: similar to a trifold brochure, with different Z-shape folding;
- multi-page booklet
So, if brochures can also come in the form of a small foldable printout you’d get on the street, how is it different from fliers and pamphlets? Technically speaking, fliers have no folds and are printed with less-quality paper/images than brochures.
Pamphlets, on the other hand, are very similar to brochures; many people use the terms interchangeably. The main difference between the two comes down to context: brochures are commonly associated with promotion and marketing, while the primary purpose of pamphlets is informational. Similarly, brochures cover several topics, while pamphlets focus on a single issue. Brochures also always have two or more pages, while pamphlets can also be a single page.
Brochures are a superb way to raise brand awareness since they allow you to present your business in a visually appealing and engaging way. They are usually short but provide enough space to offer more information about your value proposition/product/brand story. Travel brochures are the most common type, but brochures are used across all industries.
Now that we have the exact image of a brochure in our minds let's dive right into the tips on designing a brochure for effective branding.
How to create a brochure that fits your brand
Now that we know exactly what it is, let's learn how to create a brochure that will help you boost brand awareness and attract the right customers.
Make sure it’s on-brand.
Brochures are all about getting word of your business out. So, that means the flashier, the better, right?
For a brochure to be truly effective, it has to speak to your target audience. Therefore it should be in line with your brand's overall look and feel, sometimes referred to as visual brand identity.
Here's an example from one of our designers at ManyPixels. This brochure created for SmartPlate is visually appealing and perfectly on-brand. It contains a high-quality product shot and key benefits neatly organized into bullet points.
If a person wants to learn more about the product from reading this brochure, a visit to the company's website will show that it matches the brochure's style and feel. This helps to form a brand image in the customer's mind and create a lasting impression.
By Sandy Ayman
Similarly, you should also answer one critical question: do you need a print or digital brochure? If your audience will likely use them in digital format, there's no point in spending money on brochure printing. On the other hand, if they are the kind of people who would appreciate the physical copy, make sure you know the rules you need to follow for creating print designs.
By Stav Sharon
Know who/where your audience is.
So if you have a brand and, especially, a brand style guide, it implies you know exactly who your audience is and where to find them in the off- or online space.
And yet, to create a truly successful brochure for your brand, you should dig a little deeper. Consider which portions of your audience would actually be interested in looking at one.
Say you run a small, luxury hotel in the city's center. Your core target audience might include wealthy business people on short stays and influencers. The former probably won't have the time or desire to spend time browsing through a brochure - their assistant has likely made the booking anyway. On the other hand, influencers will love a stunning brochure they can look through and (hopefully) share snippets of on their social media.
Therefore, while your hotel may cater to both types of people equally, a brochure should be more geared towards influencers or those who will actually want to read it.
Here's a fantastic example of a travel brochure for Tokyo. It's geared towards a younger audience, so the brochure uses pastel colors and a trendy design. Although there's quite a bit of text, it focuses on a specific topic (traveling on a budget), which is something the readers would be interested in.
Don’t overload it with text.
You probably have a hunch on this one: our attention span is pretty short these days: it stands at around 8 seconds which is around the same as a goldfish. Ouch.
Although the numbers for offline marketing are slightly better, you should still stick to short and sweet messaging.
Of course, don't forget that one of the significant advantages of brochures over, say, Facebook or Google Ads is that you have the space to write more. They're a great way to tell your brand story and offer more information than a social media post.
It’s also vital to present text in an easy and digestible way - you can imagine that huge blocks of text would hardly entice anyone to read patiently.
This art event brochure is a fantastic example to learn from. Although there's quite a bit of text (there isn't even a picture on the front page), it's presented in an organized, user-friendly way, with sectioning, different font sizes, and a bit of color.
Don’t use stock photos or pictures of buildings.
Unless the building is a castle in Disneyland, it's hardly the thing that will attract people to your business.
Sure, in some cases of travel brochures, this might be an excellent addition, especially if your hotel is luxurious or located in a historic building. But even then, people don't choose accommodation based on the exterior.
With any other type of company, there’s very little value a prospective customer would find in a picture of your building/office space.
Similarly, you should try to avoid stock photos. Recent studies suggest that only 9% of marketers found stock photos effective in their marketing strategy. At the same time, an overwhelming majority used custom graphics instead.
If you don't have the resources to hire professional photographers and get custom photos, don't take a shortcut. Instead, explore the endless possibilities of graphic design.
Here’s an example to convince you. This creative Starbucks brochure utilizes an illustration instead of a photo of one of their recognizable drinks. It makes for a much more playful and interesting design. And I guarantee it still makes you crave the icy goodness!
Use photos of real people, not stock models.
Speaking of professional photos, here's another valuable piece of branding and brochure design advice. Consumers love brands that value people.
If you sell products, it's paramount to include high-quality product shots in your brochure. However, adding a little bit about what's going on "behind the scenes" can help customers connect with your brand on a more personal level and drive better engagement.
Here's a powerful example of a brochure for a blue-collar recruitment company. It would have been very simple to find stock photos of smiley people in different professions. However, these professional shots add a sense of genuineness and honesty.
They also work perfectly with the clean, airy brochure layout to deliver maximum impact.
Focus on the benefits
Yes, brochures are a terrific way to tell your brand story. But remember that highlighting your main value proposition is still just as crucial.
Since brochures cover several different topics and themes, it’s a good idea to use headings to demonstrate the key benefits.
This is one of the many brochure examples that makes fantastic use of layout to separate the brochure into sections that cover the main benefits, onboarding process, and different functionalities of this app.
Include a call to action.
The really great news on brochures? People that read them actually take action: some recent data suggests that 80% of consumers consider visiting a business they see in a brochure.
And yet, this can often only be the first step. If you only incentivize people to "find out more about your business," they might forget to do it. Or, once they do, they won't decide to make that purchase.
So, a brochure should also have a clear call to action. These days you can also design digital brochures that prompt immediate actions online. For traditional print brochure examples, you can still find a way to add more urgency to your CTA.
Here’s a very cool example of a travel brochure for an aquarium. The overall design is very sleek and intriguing. But the designer also included a couple of distinct CTAs - visiting the aquarium and getting in touch. Different tours and prices are also highlighted to help viewers make that decision.
Utilize color and beautiful design
There are lots of high-quality brochure templates that you can easily find online. So what can make your brand stand out? High-quality design.
It's very easy to find brochure templates online, but something custom will always stand out. Not only is it a way to ensure that your brand is aptly represented, but custom brochures are always more impactful.
Let’s compare these two brochure examples.
Although the first one is very well designed, it might not be the most exciting-looking. Even if you add a couple of high-quality images, they might not fit with the rest of the brochure layout.
On the other hand, this custom travel brochure was designed with a particular place in mind. Everything from the color palette, to the illustrations and fonts corresponds to the theme perfectly.
Where to get brochures
There are many terrific brochure designs online to get you inspired, as well as ready-to-use templates. However, remember that the latter will unlikely be the right fit for your business, so the brochure design might not produce the desired effect with your target audience.
Hiring a designer for your business can be very costly (around 60k per year). So, if you want a much more affordable and simpler solution, look no further than ManyPixels!
Our on-demand graphic design company helps you get all the designs you need at a fixed monthly rate. That means plenty of snazzy brochures, but also business cards, display ads, landing pages, and anything else you might need!
If, on the other hand, you want to have a casual chat with one of our reps, go ahead and book a 1:1 demo call.
Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.