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There is no doubt that product marketing and design can be costly so I have a few ideas about how to save money with design.

Everyone knows you can you have a logo designed cheaply online but, do you know these logos are recycled, are not unique, you do not own the copyright, plus typically the design is generic and common. There are much better ways to save money with design.

These are easy to implement considerations for brand on any budget and business size. I have not included social media marketing as I am sure you are savvy enough to know that is essential – you may like to check out ‘6 Social Media Accelerators‘.

1. People Love To Feel Good
Create a story that will establish a brand loyalty – find a hook that will make the consumer smile, think, be moved to tears or just get a warm fuzzy feeling. A great example of this is the ‘thankyou’ brand – a genuinely good news story.

2. The Soft Sell
Since email is the main form of business communication be sure to have a ‘sales oriented’ signature – it doesn’t have to be the hard sell but at least a testimonial or product photo designed nicely will leave a positive message with the receiver. To save money with design you don’t need to spend much, just a little of your time.

3. Bundle Up
Much like the telco’s, bundling projects and having your graphic designer quote in groups is mostly likely going to save you money. Most designers work more quickly when they are creating a range of projects for the same brand – not only is it more efficient but generally a more cohesive outcome is achieved. Next time you have packaging, flyers, banners, signage, newsletters plan ahead and ask for a group quote.

4. Be Inventive
Printing costs can add up when you have labels, flyers, business cards, signage, banners ect. Look for ways to double up. For example, a business card may infact double as your flyer with a mini booklet format – eye catching, convenient and less waste! One sticker for all foodservice and retail carton boxes will never be a waste of money – remember to include the address, website and phone number to encourage easy repeat orders. Seems obvious but so many times this is overlooked.

5. The Backbone
Your current customers are your best asset, so treat them like they are special. When opening a foodservice and retail carton boxes you could include a simple ‘hey thanks for supporting a local business’ note or an offer, ie: “Place your next order with in 5 days and receive something for free/or 5% off”. Repeat customers are the backbone of any business.

6. Exciting Times Ahead
Marketing is not an adhoc activity to do when sales are down. Make a list of your needs and activities for 3 years and prioritise, then divide the list per year, per quarter and per month to stagger the time required and the financial outlay. Whatever your budget, remember your marketing should be designed to generate sales not just look good and is best done with a plan.

7. Trying To Switch To Film?
If you are finding the leap into film packaging too costly consider printing one roll of generic film and individualise the products with adhesive overlays. This can be a great way to save on the outlay and also test the effectiveness of the design for your film before taking the big leap.

8. Vehicle Livery?
Many businesses overlook that their transport is a potential mobile billboard or advert. Sure, it can be costly to skin an entire vehicle but it is effective. An alternative is well designed decals to create a visual reminder of your company’s existence. Get noticed locally.

9. Quality Or Shonky
Your business card represents you when you’re not there, so don’t give away a card that makes you look cheap or shonky. I can almost hear your sigh… but it’s such an obvious expression of your business and if you have a quality product you should have a quality business card – like it or not your business card design speaks volumes about your brand impact.

10. Reap Rewards With A Perfect Match
Look for a designer to suit your business – the design industry is NOT ‘one size fits all’ and many times a website designer will have totally different skills to a packaging designer or a publishing designer. Choose someone you really CONNECT with and trust not to forge from the internet. Creating a brand image is not a science – it is a collaboration.

Bonus tip… think ahead and save money with design
Invest in a designer who has the vision and experience to accommodate future business expansion. A designer is a consultant and good ones will have a minefield of cost saving suggestions and contacts to stretch your $$ further and usually for FREE! So don’t be afraid to ask.

If you found value in this article you may also be interested in ‘6 Social Media Acceleraters‘.

Please feel free to share this article with your friends and colleagues.



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