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The importance of on-brand collateral

In a noisy and crowded digital world, it’s never been more important to understand brand touchpoints and why they matter.

When considering and creating your customer journey, you need to understand the key areas your customers are focused on and where they will encounter your brand. By anticipating brand touchpoints in advance, you’re prepared to overcome challenges, customer hesitations, and anything else that gets in the way of a lead or a sale.

Why every touchpoint of your brand needs to connect with your audience

First of all, what is a touchpoint?

A touchpoint is any point of interaction with a potential or current customer at any stage of the customer journey. Digital touchpoints are no different, they simply refer to interactions with your brand that occur online. These digital touchpoints include your website, digital ads, social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, direct email communication and so on.

What are key touchpoints?

Website

Your website is going to most likely be your central touchpoint for a customer – this is where your audience will venture to learn more about your brand and how you can help solve their problems. In fact, the majority of your touchpoints will lead your audience back to your website, as it is most often the hub that drives marketing, sales or leads for your business. Your website should be clearly recognizable as your brand and carry across the messaging, look and feel that you have presented on other channels.

Social media

One of the most trusted ways to build brand awareness while interacting with customers is through social media. How can you use this to create a connection with your audience? By putting forward a cohesive branded messaging across all social media channels, your audience will learn to recognise your brand straight away.

While social media isn’t necessarily a sales channel, it’s still a strong way to build relationships through branded content that provides value, is emotional or relatable, or resharable, not just promotional. Social media can have a huge impact on a customer’s journey with a brand. 

It also provides one of the best ways to interact with your brand’s audience, as an average of 74% of people are following brands on social media. When you’re an active member of the community, your audience sees your brand in a positive light. 

Brand content

Similarly, content is a type of brand touchpoint. With 47% of customers viewing 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a brand or company, it’s important to invest in strong content. This can include anything from:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcast episodes
  • Videos
  • Online reviews
  • Graphics
  • Case studies
  • Ebooks
  • Email marketing
  • Online courses
  • Interviews
  • Q&As
  • Product announcements

Stationery and packaging

As part of your physical brand collateral, your branding and messaging should carry across to these aspects too. For example, any branded content that you use in your social media should in turn be reflected in the branding of your packaging and stationery.

Before digital marketing, traditionally printed or physical collateral, such as business cards, brochures, thank you cards, product labels and so on, were the main touchpoints for brands. As digital marketing grew in strength and usability, this aspect of branding was flipped on its head for many brands. However, for the majority of product-based businesses, physical collateral is still an essential touchpoint for their customers, even if they are an e-commerce store.

It’s important to remember: It’s never about you. Period.

The key to mapping out your touchpoints is to make it about your customer, not about you. So put yourself in your customer’s shoes and start asking the right questions. At the “before purchase” stage, you might ask questions such as:

  • Do I have a problem that needs to be solved or a need to be fulfilled?
  • Where do I go to get info to solve my problem? (ie. Google search? Forums? Facebook groups?)
  • What is the deciding factor in my purchase decisions? (ie. Google reviews? Social media connection? Website experience?)
  • Who influences my decision most? (Family? Friends? Third-party review sites?)
Through creating a comprehensive branding package that includes the essential collateral pieces—both digital and physical to cover all touchpoints—a brand designer can help you genuinely and authentically connect with your audience, no matter where they are encountering and interacting with your brand.

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