In the Norwegian course “Graphic Design for marketers” which I created this fall, I talk a lot about visual touchpoints. What are they? They are everywhere your brand is visible in the marketplace.
In the old days, if you had a logo, that would go a long way to carry your brand. You would put it on a letter and a business card, and then you were all done.
Today, visual touchpoints are numerous. We make materials for web, print, PDFs, and even items such as stickers and T-shirts. We are involved in a variety of activities on the internet, where we upload profile pictures and cover images. Just think of your presence on social media.
I recently made a podcast image for a client. This touchpoint was totally non-existent just a few years ago, along with a lot of others. From this fact we can learn that it is important to keep track of old and new touchpoints and make sure they are in line with our visual branding. We want to stay visually consistent and recognizable across all our marketing materials.
It may be a good idea to have a proper clean-out before the start of a new year. In that case, you must prepare to identify and “vacuum-clean” every corner of your off- and online presence. If you have been in business for a while, you might find that you are visually present in more places than you really know.
You need to create physical documentation of all your touchpoints. If you have a big table to work on, it is a great idea to spread out the prints of the touchpoints to get an overview. Even better, use a free wall or a whiteboard.
- Published and printed materials come out from their drawers and go up on the wall (including business cards, stationery, proposals, invoices, price sheets, program sheets, and welcome packages).
- Print out the PDFs, PowerPoints, and anything else that is in the borderland between print and digital.
- Additionally, take screenshots of your digital platforms such as social media pages and webpages. Print them out and hang them up.
- If you have an online platform for coaching or teaching, take a screenshot of it, too.
- If your webpage uses more than one-page template, be sure to include all of them.
- Images that you have been posting on your Facebook Fan Page or on Instagram should also be included in this collection; they are undoubtedly visual touchpoints as well.
In short, print out everything! Forgetting or overlooking a visual touchpoint is easy.
Ask others for help to make sure everything is remembered.
For your visual touchpoints to be the best visual ambassadors for your brand, they need to look consistent, be “on brand”, and been professionally crafted. When you have gathered all your touchpoints in this way, it is easy to see where you need to take some action if they are not.
Use this as an opportunity to decide if you will keep up the appearance in all areas/channels or if some touchpoints can be dropped because they no longer fit the strategies you want to use in your marketing. After all, that is simply what visual touchpoints are: pieces in your marketing plan.