What is presence in terms of business? What can you do to ensure people know your brand exists? Being a more fleeting notion, a brand requires resources to come to life. These embodiments include a logo, a website, an e-mail, or a social media page. All these elements together create collateral – all the elements available and viable to your business that ensure brand presence on the market. If you are still unsure what exactly that means, don’t worry. This December, we will dedicate our articles to understanding collateral and choosing the right one for you.
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And the first thing to do when creating collateral is to understand what on earth is that thing. Honestly, it took me some time to truly grasp this concept, so here it is in a simple language. If we are to look at Merriam-Webster, we are to define “collateral” as an adjective that means “serving to support or reinforce”.
In marketing, this concept does play the role of a supporting system for your brand. It works in conjunction with it to show the audience what you are really about. Because, let’s be honest, a brand is not quite a physical thing, it is rather an idea, an assemblage of values, aesthetics, and preferences of a person or group of people. However, the product made by the said brand is, in fact, a physical thing that can be seen, touched, or felt by one of our senses.
A great collateral connects the brand and the product by creating a link between these aspects of business. Not only does this aid in bringing up the connection and recognition between the customer and the product but it also is one of the main ways to promote the product. How? We’ll discuss that in a second, but before let’s sum up what collateral is into a nice short definition:
Collateral is an assemblage of all elements (logo, website, one-pagers, brochures, ebooks, reports, exhibitions, etc.) that help to embody a brand’s identity and promote a product.
In the definition above, we have already mentioned some of the most popular types of collateral, however, there is more. There is so much more. We have created a picture with more than 30 types of collateral just for you to understand what it may be. However, the list does not end there, and with the progression of media, the world, and your own ideas new things can and will be added there. This can serve as a mere starting point for creating collateral.
Another thing you may have noticed is that some of the things in this list are rather broad with evident application possibilities for each brand. In contrast, others are a tad more specific and can only apply to certain businesses. For example, case studies. People love them as it is one of the best ways to present information to your audience will feel connected to. However, is it an effective strategy for a cafe to create a case study? No, as its audience is not interested in it, and it would be better to pursue social media recognition. However, each business must have a logo as this is the very first people notice and make an impression of.
Being such a crucial aspect, logos, and other collaterals should always be reviewed with precision. Approval Studio is here to help you with that. A cutting-edge proofing tool and project management tools that make your approval process much easier and quicker. This is the only proofing software you will need on your way to success! Book a demo to know more!
So Embody or Promote?
We have just seen how important it is to choose the correct type of collateral. The thing at stake here is the customer’s interest in your business, and specifically the sales level. You can send hundreds of emails but to no avail. So, the first step is to study your audience.
The second step is to correctly identify your business’s current level and what it needs for collateral. Let’s come back to the definition we’ve established a few paragraphs before. One of the things in the definition was: “help to embody a brand’s identity and promote a product”. Having two main purposes collateral can work differently for each business, depending on what category of collateral we are using. (You’ll see it all come together in a second don’t worry)
The first class of collateral is the one that focuses on transcending the purpose, value, and idea of your brand. It creates what we collectively call a brand identity, focusing on a name, logo, signature, business card, etc. This is a branding collateral definition.
The second class of collateral uses many parts of branding collateral to promote a product or service and get it to as many people as possible. It reuses the existing parts to make a strategy that will make the audience grow. This is a marketing collateral definition.
How to Choose?
The best thing about collateral is that you don’t really need to choose between the two classes. Both of those are crucial for the business. Branding collateral is used in the very first stages of your business when your identity is just being created, or while rebranding. And marketing collateral is used all the other time, non-stop, while composing a promotional strategy. But I know, it still can be difficult to understand with only theoretical knowledge on your hands. For that exact reason, we are going to illustrate some of the ideas mentioned today, using an unreal business model that has come to me in a dream: a heated dinnerware set “Fiery”!
However, as we are short for time, I will only show you its branding collateral today. Keep in mind that this month we will update you on the marketing collateral too;)!
The very first step is creating a brand name. Which, as you may have noticed, is already here. This name represents the business in the best way as it is semantically connected to fire, food (especially hot), and bright colors. If you want to know what we did to create such a cool name, check out our article about names and logos!
Speaking of which, the logo as a type of collateral here combines the main characteristics of the product using recognizable shapes of the plate, however, it still showcases that it is not just dinnerware. The clever integration of a fire symbol with the font makes you shift your attention to the logo and focus on it.
Other types of branding collateral we can use for our business are:
- A business card: used to represent a business for other businesses, willing to work with “Fiery”, must have all the significant elements. The logo, the name, the signature. Alternatively, if your business does not need a physical business card, digital ones with a QR code to a website or a social media page are always welcome.
- Social media page: speaking of this, it is important to note that now, in the world of Facebook and Instagram building a social media presence is even more important than having a website. Tell me, what do you do when seeing a new start-up at a fair? That’s right, you look for them on Instagram. And that is such a disappointment if they are not, in fact, there.
- Website: this type of branding collateral is more optional than the others as it does take a lot of resources to run a good website. If you are a small start-up that sells physical products, you might not need a website. Instagram selling has become a hit in recent years. However, if you do decide to run a website, make sure you tailor it to your brand to the fullest.
- Google listing: Fiery does have a physical location in one of the European cities. For that reason, a Google listing is a must for various reasons. Starting from the simple insurance of online presence to a way of communication with your new and existing customers.
We’ve talked a lot about the ways to be present on the market today. However, you should know that these are only basic things, sow from the huge field of businesses present in the daily life of each person. However, there are many more niche things, that require a personalized marketing strategy in order to be successful. We will talk more about how to determine the right marketing collateral a little bit later, hoping this will help you make your business more profitable. Stay tuned, and see you soon!