Building Your Brand: Collateral Must-Haves

When thinking about your client experience, the best and most efficient way to address your experience as a whole is to simply list out every touch point you have with your client or potential client. Then address each touch point and ask the following questions:

  • Does this element visually represent me, my authentic style/preferences? Does it visually depict my brand?
  • Does this element resonate with my ideal client?
  • Does this element have purpose & intentionality?
  • What are my ideal clients’ needs? Am I fulfilling those needs with these elements? What’s missing?

Client experience is not limited to your tangible collateral pieces but for this post let’s chat just a little about a few collateral pieces that I believe are must-haves.

  • Business Cards. Obviously. Except how many of us business owners actually have cards that we love and feel like are purposeful, intentional and beautifully represent our authentic brand?!
  • Note Card. A general note card for saying hello to a client, welcoming a client, sending a note to a colleague or vendor.
  • Thank You Card. Separate from the note card so that you have an opportunity to genuinely, intentionally and purposefully say Thanks. Do this with your voice. If you say ‘thanks so much’ then the card should say that! Or ‘Thanks friend,’ or ‘Thank you’ or ‘Thanks a ton.’ Your pieces need to speak your voice!
  • Gift. Whether your client is signing on for you to plan their wedding, photograph their wedding or they just purchased something from your online shop, use every opportunity possible to wow them. Figure out a gift that fulfills a need in their life, resonates with them, has purpose, intention and represents your brand well.
  • Packaging. Is your packaging purposeful, thoughtful and intentional? What kind of wrapping paper did you use? Is your ribbon appropriate to your brand aesthetic? Do you need a branded gift tag? How will it be delivered? Is it shipped or given in person? If shipped, what kind of mailer are you using? Do you need a sticker or decorative item on envelope?
  • Final Touch Point. If you have a long-term relationship with your client (i.e. wedding planner or photographer) you need to consider the last thing you leave in your client’s hands. I would encourage something tangible and beautiful that reminds them why they ultimately chose you when they could have chosen anyone else. Remember, a great client experience is the best marketing tool you could ever have for your business and your brand.

Shay Cochrane‘s collateral is a gorgeous example of  what a cohesive experience looks like. (Logo designed by Emily Ley. Client Experience and collateral pieces by Ashlee Proffitt.)

Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane Branding Collateral by Ashlee Proffitt | 2013 Shay Cochrane

Just a few things for you to consider as you work through your own branding! What do you consider a must-have collateral piece for your business and brand?