When it comes to effective branding, many of the world’s largest companies have honed their strategies to perfect. They understand exactly where to include their logos, which language to use and what color scheme is perfect for their offer.

Small businesses, on the other hand, often don’t have an established strategy when branding is concerned. Their brochures, signs and other print items are designed a step at a time, often without a guiding strategy or list of tactics.

If you run a small business but would like to develop it into a well-known brand, one of the best methods of achieving this is by learning from the big brands. Read on and we’ll share six color, layout and branding tactics the big brands use frequently.

Never miss an opportunity to include your logo

Have you ever looked through a brochure for an established brand? Have you seen a print advertisement for Nike, McDonald’s or Toyota? All of the world’s largest brands understand the importance of showing off their logo whenever possible.

There’s a reason you remember the Mercedes Benz or Apple logos instantly – they’ve been shown to you so many times that they’re imprinted into your memory. Use the same strategy to develop the strength of your logo and increase brand recognition.

Use your company’s color scheme for all brochures

What’s your company’s color scheme? Every company has its distinct colors – from the colors used in its business cards and branding to favorite colors that stand out from the crowd and look great.

Just like it’s a good tactic to show off your logo whenever possible, it’s important to always use your company color scheme in brochures and other print items. This is an excellent way to increase brand recognition and help people remember you.

Stick with simple concepts that reflect your values

Have you ever noticed how simple Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola and other leading brands make their advertisements? The best brands don’t need complex ads to stand out – they understand that it’s often better to be simple and easily understandable.

Instead of trying to cram information into your next brochure, stick with the most simple concepts and design elements you can think of. Simple is memorable, and it helps brand recognition to have a simple brochure that any reader can understand.

Understand the importance of engaging copy

Great brands understand the importance of engaging copy. Many small businesses, unfortunately, don’t. Copy is what helps people connect with your brand and form their own relationship with it, making it the most important aspect of any brochure.

Instead of focusing solely on design, split your focus between design and copy. An incredibly simple design with highly engaging, effective copy will often beat a slick, stylish design with copy that fails to connect with and engage your audience.

Use contrast to make your key points stand out

Every brand has unique selling points – things like low prices, outstanding features or amazing benefits that separate it from the competition. Visual contrast, such as a light typeface on a dark background, can help make these key points stand out.

From bullet points to subheadings, use visual contrast in your brochure’s design to help the most important points of your brochure stand out. A slight change in your background color can make text more readable and increase reader engagement.

Remember that your offer reflects your brand

Your brochure’s offer – often a free sample, consulting information or anything else – has a major impact on how people perceive your brand. The wrong offer can have just as profound effect on your brand as ineffective design or badly written copy.

Think about the image that you’re trying to portray – whether it’s exclusivity, value or something else – and make sure your offer matches the copy used in your sign or brochure and its visual identity.