“The company brochure […] answers questions about a corporation’s identity, history and competence. It presents the target groups for the company’s products or services and highlights their benefits for clients and customers.“ (Kirsten Koenen)
Kirsten Koenen has nailed it. There is no better way of describing what your company brochure is all about. Make sure that all your brochure’s various elements – structure, paper, visuals, text, pageflow – send the same strong message to your reader as they depict your company in front of him. As you integrate the various elements, they will strengthen each other’s impact, leaving one total impression in the end that will stay with your reader. If forward thinking is part of your core identity, make sure it is expressed convincingly – starting with your brochure’s conceptualization and its language down to the way the paper feels.
There simply is no ONE concept when it comes to company brochures even if there are similar patterns. A brochure’s content, for example, is often set whereas the layout mostly varies. Most brochures include these text elements:
“Company Profile” (Who?)
“History” (Where from?)
“Mission / Goals” (Where to?)
“Products / Services” (What?)
“Target group / Benefits” (For whom?)
The uniformity of many company brochures is mostly due to these standard elements. The knack is to create an impression which is emotionally appealing, authentic and convincing.
To do so, you need to deliver more than just facts: Presenting your company’s values and a context of emotions is crucial. Human decision-making rarely hinges on products and companies. Instead, it follows feelings and the solutions you offer. Make your reader see and sense your corporate identity. Make it tangible through a strong emotional message. (Kirsten Koenen)
How do you create this emotional charge for your particular brand? There is little that beats the power of images. They create an immediate impact and communicate the essential characteristics of your company – much like a logo does. It pays off to invest in a good photographer: You can intensify your messages by using strong images.
A word of warning, though: Avoid stock images wherever you can. They tend to visualize business themes in the form of fake scenes – we have all seen the trusty handshake to signal a business deal, the casual team meeting, or the service-driven client talk. Such images are rarely produced for just one particular company. As a result, they make your company interchangeable rather than highlight its uniqueness.
The same principle applies to the text you choose for your company brochure. Naturally, all companies want to tell their clients that they are “just right” for them. But the more the value propositions resemble each other, the less real promise they deliver: Phrases like “tailor-made”, “individual”, “state-of-the-art”, “best”, “service offer” or “product solutions” are, in a way, nothing more than stock material. They fit many and much, but they don’t really stick, least of all in your customers’ memory.
There may be times where resource or other constraints only allow “off-the-rack” options. As with any decision, this is a matter of prudence.
This post was first published in German in my blog