Someone just posted a couple of flyers for critiquing in the Science of Copywriting Copy Critique Board on Facebook and it highlights a major problem I see often with ads. It’s called branding.
If someone asks for a flyer or anything else to be designed, the designer needs to know the branding style of the person, product, or company the flyer is being designed for.
If that isn’t clear, then the design becomes the NEW brand of whatever is being advertised. That is going to be a real problem for both the designer AND the client who requested it. For the designer, they will be told to do it again (or fired), and for the client it will waste time and therefore money.
But if the client has no idea about branding, then it becomes a reputation problem. Customers and prospects will have no identity they can hang on to (ie. there’s nothing to glue them to the product or business).
That’s obvious right? I wish it were. The point is, as copywriters, we need to work with designers as well as clients to make sure everything gels together. Our words MUST fit with the brand’s voice and image.
So next time you take on some work with a designer, ask them a few questions about the brand, starting with “is there a style guide?”
And if that style guide doesn’t exist, then it gives you a chance to help the client and increase your value.
This only applies to small businesses (and bad designers). Large businesses are large because they sorted out their branding long ago.
Think of it as another way of getting attention (but do it subtly or you’ll just be annoying).
I've spent my working life starting and running a whole variety of businesses, from my first QPL Express Couriers where I travelled over 100,000 miles every year delivering packages on a motorcycle (along with a whole bunch of colleagues) to Accountz.com which made a major in-road in the UK, to ProofMEDIA my current business that focuses on Copywriting and the International Copywriters Association, which showcases copywriting and copywriters to the world.
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