Marketing items can be anything that markets your business in some way, whether digitally or through a printed product. They span from business cards, brochures, and t-shirts to your Facebook cover photo, email newsletter graphic, and website. It is in the best interest of every business owner to have include as many items as they can in their marketing plans, and all should be “on-brand”, meaning they should all have the same look and feel (ie. logo and color palette) that directly reflects your company’s brand.
It's easy to say, "BRAND EVERYTHING!" when it comes to splashing your logo or fancy new color palette & graphics on everything your business touches. This is great advice, but mostly applicable to business owners with outrageous budgets. But if, for now, you have a limited budget, and limited time to get things created, how do you choose what items to focus on? What print & digital items will best market your business, based on the industry you're in?
Depending on your broad industry, certain items may give you better return-on-investment than others. It ALWAYS depends on your specific business & how you choose to market your product or service, but these are good places to start when considering what may work best for you!
Restaurant / Food Service / Catering
1. Menu (+ Take out Menu!)
Every business in the food service industry should have the most enticing, beautiful menu! For many, it is one of the first impressions that customers get about the type of experience their about to have. It should have your logo and use fonts & colors & any graphics that are a part of your “brand” - ones that have been specifically chosen for your business! When folks see you menu, and then visit your website, or see signs on your restaurant walls, etc., they all should look cohesive! Make sure that there are no typos on this menu, either! It should be a good size that commands a presence but isn’t too bulky, and the text should be easy to read. It should complement the experience, not detract! Restaurants should also have a take-out menu! Think of folks who order for lunch, want to include it with a gift card, or print it off your website! It’s also an easy way to market to potential customers when not at your location.
Professional branded photos should be an essential for all businesses, but especially ones as visually enticing as food service! Much of a restaurant/dining-out experience is visual, and you can gain or lose customers by the look of your food! Food photos should, of course, be of your own food, and not stock photos, but should be taken in your restaurant, with your staff, and with background imagery that subtly plays up your logo or branded graphics! High quality photos instantly make every business look 10x more professional & can be used on your website, on social media platforms, and for virtually any printed marketing material you can think of!
Happy customers are RETURN customers, especially in the restaurant business! And more than most industries, customers feel a sense of pride and belonging when they talk about their favorite cafe or the trendiest restaurant they frequent. Give them an item to purchase that they can flaunt to the world, advertising for you, AND enticing them to return! T-shirts (any type of clothing or hats) are a great way to breed loyalty among your customers: they’re part of a group that’s now “in the know!”. Especially if you have a niche or something kitchy that brings people to your spot: hot dogs, ice cream, best-lobster-roll-ever, etc. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Wedding / Event Planning & Services
This industry includes EVERY creative service that can be utilized when planning a wedding or big party: hair stylists, photographers, event planners, wedding outfit boutiques, nail salons, banquet halls, consultants, DJs, videographers, gift shops, travel planners, honeymoon destinations, hotels, spas, etc.
(Some sort of branded, card stock advertisement!) These types of businesses are ones that frequent trade shows for wedding vendors and may be setting up a booth, or will team with other industry professionals to support one another. In both situations, they need items to hand out to prospective customers, or items to leave at other businesses for customers to take! A post card, or a rack card of different sizes (4x6, 5x7, & 4x9 are the most popular) can have your basic information included, high quality photos, and contact information. Eye catching, informative, and a great way to advertise!
2. Social Media Templates
3. Gift Cards
Professional Service Industry
This includes lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, etc. but also practicing medical professionals, fitness instructors, health and wellness providers (yoga instructors, massage therapists), designers. Anyone that advertises themselves as part of their brand, as opposed to an entirely separate corporation. Also includes professionals changing careers or just out of college!
Watch my Mass Appeal Segment HERE: