|Written By: David Huseby
Grandville Printing Co.
|Originally Published in the November/December 1995
issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
So, you’re planning to print a new brochure!
Planning is the key word in that sentence. Too often printers receive a few lines scrawled on a scrap of paper and accompanied by a bunch of colour photos with pin holes and cracks in them. Not only is this the result of poor planning, but also remember, what you see is what you get. There are two potential results to this approach. Expensive systems will work to clean up the defects costing you more money or you will receive a mediocre brochure which sticks with you until all the brochures have been distributed - and then they may stick with your potential customers in their files for a good deal longer!
This article is designed to help you develop an advertising piece that is a winner.
There are many things to consider when developing your brochure. You want your brochure to attract the potential customer, answer their questions by describing your services, and attractively and accurately reflect your camp. To do this effectively, there are advertising tools that you will want to consider and integrate into your brochure’s design.
When planning your brochure, above all BE HONEST! You want customers who visit you to find what they expected, or even be pleasantly surprised by finding something better than they expected. Your brochure is a place to showcase that which is special about your establishment, it is not a place to exaggerate or to be dishonest. That approach will backfire, as I can personally attest.
Last June, I along with three other family members, responded to a sharp brochure advertising “DELUXE ACCOMMODATIONS” at a Canadian lodge. To our great disappointment, when we arrived the conditions were far from the glowing information provided in their brochure. Will we go back to that camp? No! As a result, now I am suspicious of all camps based on their brochures, and so are many other people. What is the answer to this dilemma? You may want to add current testimonials from satisfied customers. It’s an excellent way to give you credibility. Ask if you can discriminately give out their phone number. Reprint their letter of endorsement. A money back guarantee if a customer is not satisfied also sends a strong positive message.
Incidentally, we moved from the camp described above, to a nearby camp after spending our first night in a motel. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Before we agreed to rent, we were shown a cabin in the process of being cleaned. They were actually scrubbing the underside of the tables and chairs. Four individuals were polishing that place and it was immaculate. Isolde and Herbert Krob of Tama Kwa, (new NOTO members) will be our friends for life and will get high recommendations from my family and friends.
With that said, the first step is to plan out what you want your brochure to say. Descriptions and details should be clear and easy to read - full of positive phrases and descriptive adjectives. In addition to the general information about your camp’s unique features! For example, do you feed everyone homemade apple pie and ice cream the night of arrival? Say so! Do you have your own fishing contest for different age groups, or an old gold mine nearby, or does your site have some historic significance? Describe it! Spend an evening talking to your family, friends, or some of your best customers to discover what others consider your best or most unique features.
Another brainstorming session for friends and family can be the development of a catchy theme for your camp and your brochure. Let your mind soar! If you feature loons, how about a crazy theme like LOONACY? If your emphasis is nature, pick a flower and use it to key the major points of your brochure. Use of a catchy theme will add uniqueness to your brochure as well as give it a professional flair.
A professional design is also important. The overall layout of the brochure should reflect the camp’s atmosphere. For example, a cam, minimal use of verbiage and photographs of lakes, deer and people sleeping on the beach says that this camp is a place to relax. On the other hand, tightly packed paragraphs, bright photos of people actively engaged in sports, and big, brightly coloured lettering in a modern font indicates that this camp is energetic, spirited and fun.
Whatever the image of your camp, you will need attractive and descriptive photos to make your brochure come to life. Occasionally these happen by chance, but most often they are planned with sharp backgrounds, smiling people, and set-ups that tell a story. As far as photos are concerned, the more quality photos you can put in your brochure the better; a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
To make your brochure stand out, use striking colours or perhaps an unusual size. These are ideas you can discuss with your printer. Along with a professional design and wonderful photographs, they can really enhance the appeal of your brochure.
Good luck developing your catchy printed piece. The extra time you spend on it will pay off as you seek to attract and hold customers.