Installment IV: Collateral Materials – Reinforcing Your Brand
In our last installment of the GroomPro POS Business Academy, we discussed the importance of a great tagline. Your logo combined with a fantastic tagline, are the beginning of your business image. This is true for any industry, including pet grooming businesses that need to stand out against all of the local competition.
Your pet grooming business will use several tools to develop (then sustain) its brand. Your logo and tagline are only the beginning of your brand’s development. Think of them as setting the stage for your brand. Next you need materials that continue the look, feel, and description of your grooming business. Once customer’s walk through the door of your establishment, you can wow them with two critical components: the customer service experience [this actually begins from the moment the appointment is booked and continues until the thank you has gone out] and the quality of the actual service you or your staff provides. These two confirm and reaffirm your brand.
As we mentioned in our last installment, your advertising, marketing and branding efforts are designed to convey an image for your pet grooming business. When you advertise, brand or market your pet grooming business, remember to keep the focus on the image, the message and the lasting memory that will be created. Whereas the ‘job’ of your logo is to create an initial impression, your collateral materials role is to lightly educate the consumer about who you are and what you do. What services do you offer? Do you have a specialty? Do you have late hours on certain days of the week? Are there professional awards with which you have been honored? What professional training do you have? These are all questions that can and should be answered in your materials.
So, what are collateral materials? Collaterals are business cards, postcards, brochures, rack cards, newsletters, websites and much more. Different collaterals have different ‘jobs’. Business cards, while incorporating the logo and tagline, provide simple contact information and broad strokes about what the company does. Postcards, which have nearly all of the above, can get the word out about a specific promotion offered. It has less information than a brochure, but is still substantial enough in the hand to make an impression. The visual can be bold – at least on one side – to stand out to the eye. Brochures step up the information available about the company. They may have details about the company’s philosophy, the owner(s) professional training or vision for the company, packages offered, VIP clubs (for clients who frequent the company or prepay for a series of services), etc. Rack cards are a great tool. If your logo has 4 colors, you can create one card in each color and focus each one on a specific aspect of the business (i.e. one for cat grooming, one for dog grooming, one for boarding, and one for doggie day care – working on the theory that your business offers all four). Cards can be set out for customers to self-serve or used collectively as needed. Newsletters, whether electronic or physical, should have great visuals. Incorporate photos and other images that convey the feeling you want prospective and current clients to get when they think of your grooming business. Articles contained in the newsletter should be giving of information, not asking for business. Keep them a reasonable length as people will not read pieces that are too long. E-Newsletters should go heavier on photos, lighter on words as the attention span of the reader is even shorter while they are online. Your website is another collateral vehicle where you can offer some visual ‘punch’, discuss the vision and difference of your business, and do some educating. Make sure your website is user friendly or your visitor(s) will not return. Remember, first impressions matter a great deal on websites!
Each has a specific function and you will need to assess which ones can make the best impact on your business’ growth. Remember that each one can be simple or elaborate, economical or pricey. There are tools to DIY each of them in order to save some dollars. You can then print them for use at your business or publish the item online. You need to establish a budget and the goals of your marketing efforts. From there, you can determine which vehicles to employ. Don’t feel pressured to create everything at once. Not everyone has the budget to do it all at once. Work your way to the long term goal.
Make a plan, then put it in place.
Remember, stay ahead of the competition. Be prepared for all contingencies. Take steps toward success. ….And live a life you can enjoy. Call GroomPro POS today.