Before committing to produce a brochure, be clear about its purpose, how it will be distributed, how long you need it to stay current, and what your alternatives are. Many people produce a brochure just because that is what everyone else does.
A good brochure is still a valuable and flexible communication tool. Unlike a newsletter, which should be about “news” (ie the present day), a brochure presents whatever aspects of your past, present and future make you interesting. It needs visual appeal to catch the eye, an engaging story to capture the imagination, and an enticing offer to those who do engage.
A brochure has no defined size, shape or content, and in some cases may be no more that a simple postcard that leaps at me from among the other winery material in the tourist office racks. If I’m in the area already, that might be all I need to put you on the itinerary. But if I’m being mailed the brochure with the focus more on enticing me to order, I might need something more detail. So you might need two options.
A brochure doesn’t have to tell me everything about you, just the bits that will impress me. Winning a Jimmy Watson 10 years ago still has cache. Winning an award this year that I’ve never heard of doesn’t (no matter how proud you are). Simply having been in business for 100 years doesn’t guarantee your wine is good. Tending the first vines planted in your region might make me want to taste it to judge for myself.
Clearly articulate your point of difference. If you’re one of the few wineries offering tours, use that as your hook with a bold statement. If you’ve got a restaurant with spectacular views, then a photo showing people enjoying a relaxed lunch taking in the vista is the way to go. Not just the view, and not just the food or wine – put people in the picture. You’re selling an experience and people need to imagine themselves in the scene.
Keep it simple. There’s a tendency to cram in as much information as you can to get the best value for money. Often it works better the other way. Section your brochure with appropriate headlines and use short, sharp content and photographs if you can. Remember that you have a website to refer to for more detail and up-to-date information.
If you offer a range of services, package them to encourage people to visit you for longer. For example: “Begin your day with a tour of the winery to equip yourself with a bit of first hand knowledge from the winemaker, before expanding your knowledge with a tutored tasting. By the time you’ve experienced the crisp whites and rich reds, you’ll be ready to match your favourites to a menu featuring local produce prepared specially for you by Jacques”. Highlight the best times to visit, but remember that the more generic you keep it, the longer the life span of your brochure.
Now that you’ve captured my attention, make sure I know who you are and where to find you. Include a good map showing access routes, the names of nearby towns, distances between towns and attractions along the way. If I’m visiting Melbourne for the first time I may not know how long it takes to get to the Yarra Valley let alone how to get there.
Get it done properly. It’s as simple as that. You may be able to wing it with your newsletter, but the style, presentation and quality of your brochure says as much about you as your wine. Graphic design need not break the bank if you choose carefully and combine a strong idea of what you want to achieve with the flexibility to be guided by a professional. Be aware of fancy tricks that pump up the printing costs and remember that most of the printing costs come with the set up. Once they are rolling it’s just the ink and paper, so 1000 copies won’t cost a lot more than 100.
Promise only what you can deliver. Any images should be “real” and text should be factual. Misleading visitors will only lead to disappointment.
And if you’re working with local businesses and visitor centres, make sure you invite the staff to visit your property rather than just dropping off your brochures en masse. This way you double your chances of your brochure being selected – or given to prospective visitors because the staff have first hand knowledge of the fabulous experience you provide.