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10 points to prove the brochure isn’t dead

10 points

to prove the brochure isn’t dead



In an article we stumbled upon recently by Geoffrey James entitled: The Brochure is Dead we couldn’t help but consider a more positive slant on the joy we find in printed projects for our high-end clients.

John Lewis of Hungerford literature
Client: John Lewis of Hungerford | Product & Company brochure

1. Credibility

There is something about print that gives a sense of legitimacy. A beautifully designed piece of print entices your customer in to your business, a marketing channel that is exclusively your space. The saturation of popups and banner ads on the web can be overwhelming and the fear of spam and viruses is enough make people wary of clicking. There is no imminent danger in printed marketing. It goes to the old adage, “If someone invested enough to print and mail it, it must be important.”

Print means business

Achieving an impression of luxury cannot be done with paper alone, as those considering a high-end purchase expect all touch points to be beautiful experience; this must be achieved with first class production values in photography, design, copy-writing, repro, print and finishing. There is still a connotation of wealth (success) that you can ‘afford’ to produce such a considered and appropriate piece.


2. What’s old is new again

Social media, online content and iPad applications are all part of the marketing mix today. Still, what excites us is what IS NOT being done (can you say non-traditional?). If you want to do something different… something new. It’s hard to believe, but the print channel is new again and is seeing a rebirth. Could we possibly be seeing a golden age in print?


Brochure Bater inside and cover
Client: Bater & Co | Marketing brochure
Spiral Cellars sales catalogue spread 1
Client: Spiral Cellars | Product catalogue

3. Tangibility

Print is a physical thing. Printed material can stay in the office or house for months or years, while internet marketing can disappear into cyber space instantaneously. Printed literature plays to the most important sense first: touch, something lost in today’s digital world. With all good pieces of print there will be a feeling of substance, that the thing in their hands has been crafted by experts in their fields.

Feel the difference

The quality of the paper chosen plays an important part, as well as the ability to be put ‘it’ down and pick ‘it’ up again easily. The tactile nature of paper, and the various finishes that can be applied offers a far more involving brand experience than anything that can only be accessed on a screen. Research by M-Real has shown that the higher the perceived value of the printed product, the longer the reader will engage and the longer they will keep the piece. The paper used will tell your reader a great deal about your brand’s positioning, its aspirations and the message you are trying to convey.


4. Branding

Print is excellent for solidifying your brand identity. Key messages, brand colours and carefully collated information are gathered and presented in one concise document, strengthening the brand and assuring the reader of the brand’s quality.

Spiral Cellars spread for print

“Reading print demands the full attention of the reader and provides the means to escape today’s ‘always-on’ culture.”

Brochure spread David Harber
Brochure spread for David Harber
David Harber Ethos brochure
Client: David Harber | Ethos Brochure

5. Print lets people unplug

More and more, people are actively choosing to unplug, or disconnect themselves from digital media. I’m finding myself turning off my phone and email more to engage with printed material. A year ago I didn’t see this coming.  Today, we relish the opportunities when we can’t be reached.

The luxury of time

Reading print demands the full attention of the reader and provides the means to escape today’s ‘always-on’ culture. The lack of distractions when reading print allows the reader to focus fully on any editorial or explore the extent and detail of your range of products and services. Beyond this there are those that keep, collect or to save as reference your beautifully printed material for future use. Many an anecdote of customers returning to a designer-maker requesting a product that was illustrated in a publication from the past.


6. QR codes

Placing QR codes on printed pieces is an excellent way to bridge the gap between print and web. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code will take you to a homepage or a special offer page that lives on the web.

Working with online

An effective marketing campaign works best when print is used with other media as one element of an integrated solution. Two approaches to integrate with digital are with Quick Response (QR) codes. The QR code is a small, square code that when scanned with a mobile phone opens a file or links to a website. This file could be current price lists, or specification drawings, or links to the landing page designed to further convince your prospect.  The results of an integrated campaign can demonstrate how digital and print can be both creative and play a key role in driving consumers online with effective calls to action. Successful campaigns will not only deliver better engagement and response, it will also lead to satisfied loyal customers.


Illuminati product brochure
Client: Illuminati Lighting | Product catalogue

7. More engaging

Consumers are more engaged when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15 second visit. A study shows that people read digital screen text 20% – 30% slower than printed paper. (Alshaali & Varshney, 2005).



8. Dependable

Brochures are dependable and always available. There are situations–pop-up meetings, for example, or when you’re without Internet access–when a good brochure can save the day.

9. Acting as a road map

A good print brochure walks a client through a proven presentation, point by point, providing vital support to the sales rep. Less experienced salespeople need all the help they can get, and a brochure can aid them in staying on track during presentations.




Jab Anstoetz new literature
Client: JAB Anstoetz | Product brochure

“If someone invested enough to print and mail it, it must be important.”

10. The hard copy

Some customers want a hard copy. When Web-based information is all that’s available, customers who want a print version are forced to print one from the company’s website, and at their cost of ink and paper. And while beautifully designed websites look nice, they’re usually not printer friendly and result in poor-quality hard copies.

Winning opportunities

These days you need more than seven points of contact before a prospect decides to truly trust and connect with you. Having a brochure to send gives you a reason to touch back with your discerning prospect. It allows you to give them more information and them to ask you more meaningful questions. This is an additional tool to be used in the sales cycle: it’s better for the customer who’ll be able to make a more educated purchasing decision. The brochure or catalogue is a perfect support when exhibiting at tradeshows, it gives your prospect something to do while you may be attending to another show visitor on your stand. It’s much easier to reference and share information about a product that may not be on display on your stand than to direct them to your website, which at best will be on a smartphone, at worst there’s no WiFi and poor reception…


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