Brand Collateral 101: Essential Checklist & Top Design Examples

17 Powerful Brand Collateral Examples To Boost Recognition

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What exactly is brand collateral?

What type of brand collateral do I need?

How do I use brand collateral to build an effective brand?

Well, we’re about to answer all these questions and more in this comprehensive brand collateral guide.

This resource will help you understand the importance of design and marketing in promoting your brand as we explore the ins and outs of this crucial element of your branding strategy.

We’ll help differentiate between branding collateral and marketing collateral, explaining why both matter to your business.

We’ll also share some top design examples to help you better understand the subject.

What is Brand Collateral?

Modern designer sitting in front of computer in office

Brand collateral is the entire collection of physical and digital assets that support and promote a company’s brand identity. 

It can be thought of as the visual elements that make a lasting first impression on potential customers.

You’re familiar with many of these brand collateral assets:

We see recognizable business cards, letterheads, infographics, and even email signatures that bring a sense of consistency and continuity to a brand. 

These physical and digital assets support your marketing efforts and convey your brand identity to potential clients and stakeholders.

Brand Collateral vs. Marketing Collateral

Coworking process, designers team working modern office.

What’s the difference between brand collateral and marketing collateral? This is an essential distinction for you to get right.

Brand collateral focuses on establishing and maintaining your brand’s image and experience across all touchpoints while marketing collateral is focused specifically on promoting your products or services.

Therefore, brand collateral and marketing collateral are closely related.

Your brand collateral focuses on the visual elements of your brand while marketing collateral leverages the brand’s collateral and brand guidelines to mobilize the brand’s message through marketing communications. 

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Brand Collateral Definition

Design Studio Creativity Ideas Wood Palette Decoration Concept

Let’s nail down this definition.

Brand collateral refers to the collection of tangible and digital assets that support and promote a company’s brand strategy (Which includes visual and verbal communication as well as the marketing strategy)..

These materials, ranging from old-school business cards to website design and even apps, play a critical role in ensuring brand consistency and recognition among potential clients and stakeholders.

Why is Brand Collateral Important?

There are a ton of reasons to highlight the importance of Brand collateral.

Without proper brand collateral, your company won’t make a lasting impression on your target audience.

Remember, your brand’s collateral is heavilty involved in  the critical first impression that can make or break your chances with prospective customers.

Brand collateral is the backbone of your marketing strategy and communication. 

Collectively, these visual elements help build brand awareness, increase brand recognition, maintain brand identity, and enhance the overall customer experience as they interact with your brand.

Ever wondered why your favorite brands just feel right?

The feeling of consistency across the brand’s collateral offers a sense of stability that builds trust, ultimately influencing our perceptions of the brand and the role it plays in our lives. 

Let’s break it down and explore five specific examples.

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#1. First Impressions Matter

Rightly or wrongly, as people, we’re typically quick to make judgements on other people.  

The same is true for the brands we encounter. It’s just human nature.

It’s ingrained in our psyche that first impressions count.

That’s why cohesive and polished brand collateral can help you make an unforgettable first impression, setting the tone for a long-lasting relationship with potential customers.

#2. Consistency Is Key

It’s helpful to continue thinking of your brand as a human. 

If your brand were a person, they’d have a distinct personality, style, and voice. 

Thinking of a brand in this way shows how inconsistent features wouldn’t sit right; you’d spot it immediately if your friend started acting or speaking differently.

Consistent brand collateral, like logos, fonts, and color schemes, ensures that your brand is instantly and always recognizable across all marketing materials, reinforcing your brand identity, highlighting stability, and making your audience feel safe.

#3. Building Trust

Handshake client satisfied with effective diverse group meeting concept

When your brand collateral looks professional and cohesive, it sends a message that you are a credible brand. 

Attention to fine detail can sometimes go unnoticed. But it’s absence certainly doesn’t.

This credibility makes your brand more appealing and helps build trust with your audience, as they feel reassured that your brand is authentic.

#4. Differentiation

In a sea of competitors, how do you stand out?

Unique and well-crafted brand collateral can help differentiate your brand from the rest, giving you that edge you need to capture your audience’s attention.

#5. Customer Experience

When your visuals, messaging, and overall vibe are in sync, you create a seamless, enjoyable experience for your customers, making them more likely to stick around and recommend you to others. 

Showing up cohesively and consistently through the experience you provide is a crucial step to building brand loyalty.

Traditional Brand Collateral vs. Digital Brand Collateral

Saleswoman shows catalog to buyers. Young couple chooses a new car

Old-school brand collaterals like print ads, catalogs, and signage still have their place in a branding strategy.

However, branding always needs to shift to where the audience is present.

That’s why digital brand collaterals are increasingly prevalent.

Think social media graphics, email marketing templates, and website design.

Even as the world becomes increasingly digitalized, it’s important to remember that both types of collateral play a significant role in a well-rounded branding and marketing strategy.

Examples of Print Brand Collaterals

Collection of printing templates

Old-school printed brand collateral has been around for generations.

While some printed collateral types have lost their relevance (such as printed newsletters or direct mail collateral), others are still working hard to  provide essential information to potential customers.

Business cards: Your classic first impression-maker, still commonly shared at trade events. Though, interestingly, many now include a QR code to direct potential customers toward a digital asset.

Business Discussion Talking Deal Concept
Letterhead: A stylish and professional way to present your brand on official documents.
Receiving letter
Catalogs: Some people still love the feel of a tangible catalogue. Show off your products with a well-designed branded catalog that’s easy to browse.

Signage: Bold, eye-catching signs, sometimes featuring your logo, help customers find you and reinforce your brand’s identity. Signs often feature your brand color palette for visual recognition.

Poster advert on the side of a bus stop

Trade show materials: Draw attention to your booth with banners, flyers, and other eye-catching print materials.

Big trade fair

Examples of Digital Marketing Collaterals

Social network homepage on a monitor screen

Digital marketing collaterals are all about showing up consistently and engaging your audience online. They’re perfect for content marketing and SEO efforts and can be easily shared and tracked.

Social media graphics: Consistent and engaging visuals to support your content marketing efforts.

illustration of social media icons
Email templates: Polished and professional emails that showcase your brand’s personality.
Email Correspondence Mail Message Concept
Landing pages: A well-designed, coherent landing page makes a world of difference in converting potential customers. Your landing pages should always reflect your brand identity.
Website design on a laptop screen

Virtual business cards: Digital alternatives to physical business cards, allowing for easy sharing of contact information online.

Looking at profile of person

Infographics: Visually appealing and informative graphics that help tell your brand’s story.

Business Meeting Presentation

Branded Explainer videos: High-quality videos that demonstrate the value proposition of your products or services.

Woman sitting at desk and watching a explainer video

Top 4 Examples of Stand-Out Brand Collaterals

Slideshow of examples
Apple watch, iPad Pro, Apple pencil, iphone, airpods pro pyramid from boxes.

Apple’s product packaging: Apple’s minimalist and sleek packaging designs reflect the brand’s focus on simplicity and elegance.

photo illustration the Mailchimp logo

Mailchimp’s mascot Freddie: The quirky yet memorable Mailchimp mascot, Freddie, is featured across various brand collateral, reinforcing the playful nature of the brand.

Packaging of tiffany & co

Tiffany & Co.’s signature blue boxes: The iconic Tiffany Blue Box® is instantly recognizable, signifying luxury and sophistication.

Instruction Manual of lego

LEGO’s instruction manuals: LEGO’s clear, easy-to-follow, and visually appealing instruction manuals enhance the overall user experience.

12 Marketing Collateral Types For Stage Of The Funnel

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Brand Collaterals for Each Marketing Stage

Your brand collateral should cater to customers at every stage of their buyer’s journey.

The same piece of brand collateral you’d share with a customer in the awareness stage wouldn’t work for a customer close to making a purchase, and vice versa.

Here’s a breakdown of the types of collateral to use at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Stage 1: Awareness

At this stage, you’re reaching out to potential clients and showcasing your brand strategy.

Your target audience may not even know your brand exists at this stage.

Use high-quality assets like infographics and social media posts to create a great first impression and make your brand memorable, leaving the audience interested to learn more.

Illustration of stage 1 awareness of social media graphics

Social media graphics: Boost your brand’s online presence with captivating visuals that attract attention and help differentiate your brand. Compelling visuals can drive engagement and leave a lasting impression, especially in a space where countless other brands are vying for attention.

Illustration of stage 1 awareness of blog post

Blog posts: Share valuable insights and industry knowledge into your niche online. This helps build trust, authority, and credibility as a go-to source while keeping your audience hooked on your brand.

Illustration of stage 1 awareness of infographics

Infographics: Simplify complex data and tell compelling stories through visually appealing graphics. These bite-sized chunks of visual content help your audience understand and remember key information, building a positive association with your brand.

Illustration of stage 1 awareness of SEO-Optimized website content

SEO-optimized website content: Enhance your website’s searchability and reach more potential customers by crafting user-friendly and search engine-optimised content. This increased visibility exposes more potential customers to your excellent digital brand collateral.

Illustration of stage 1 awareness of Informative Videos

Informative videos: Video content is increasingly important for modern brands. Engage, educate, and entertain your audience with dynamic video content that showcases your brand’s personality and highlights the features/benefits of your products or services.

Stage 2: Consideration

Your potential customers are now checking you out and are aware of your product offering.

However, they’re still in the consideration stage and are still looking for other alternatives.

In this context, you need to offer collateral that pushes potential customers toward your brand over the competition.

Offer in-depth case studies, white papers, and testimonials demonstrating your expertise, social proof, and value proposition.

Case studies: According to the 2023 Edelmen trust barometer, we live in an increasingly distrustful world. Consumers tend to adopt a distrusting position of brands as standard and therefore place great importance on peer reviews when considering whether to interact with businesses. Showcase real-life success stories to demonstrate the effectiveness of your products or services and win the trust of potential customers.

White papers: Offer in-depth, authoritative insights into industry trends and challenges, positioning your brand as a thought leader and problem-solver ahead of the curve.

Testimonials: Amplify the power of word-of-mouth marketing with genuine customer feedback, highlighting the positive experiences your brand regularly delivers for other customers.

Product comparisons: Empower prospects to make informed decisions by highlighting your offerings’ unique features and benefits compared to alternative brands.

Webinars: Engage, educate, and build relationships with your audience through live, interactive presentations demonstrating your brand’s expertise and value. Webinars offer an opportunity to dialogue directly with potential customers, putting literal faces to your brand while providing a much sought-after personal touch.

Stage 3: Decision

It’s crunch time! Here, it’s all about getting a potential customer over the line to choose your brand.

Provide pricing details, contact information, and comparisons that help customers make an informed choice at this crucial step.

Pricing information: Clearly and concisely communicate your product’s value proposition. Don’t overcomplicate things; make it easy for potential customers to see precisely what they need to pay to help them choose the suitable options for them.

Detailed product specifications: If the customer wants to, information should be available to take a deep dive into your products or services. Provide comprehensive and transparent information about your products or services, helping prospects evaluate their suitability. Think of something like the detailed product specs you can look through for the Apple iPhone, for example.

Custom quotes: If possible, offer tailored pricing options to meet individual clients’ unique needs and budgets, showcasing your flexibility and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Sales presentations (PowerPoint): Captivate and persuade your audience with visually appealing, concise, and informative branded presentations that highlight your brand’s unique selling points.

Free trials or demos: Give prospects a hands-on experience of your products or services, allowing them to witness the benefits firsthand and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

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Stage 4: Loyalty

The game’s not over once a customer has made a purchase.

A successful brand cultivates brand loyalty.

Keep customers coming back for more! Offer exclusive content, coupons, and engaging email marketing campaigns to maintain interest and satisfaction.

Email marketing campaigns: Nurture customer relationships, drive repeat business, and keep your brand top-of-mind with personalized, targeted email communications that offer value and highlight promotions.

Special promotions or coupons: Entice customers with irresistible deals and incentives, fueling sales and increasing brand loyalty.

Exclusive content for subscribers: Reward your most loyal fans with premium content, fostering a sense of exclusivity and deepening their connection to your brand. You could even take time to foster your very own brand community.

Surveys and feedback opportunities: Encourage customer input to improve your products and services, demonstrating that you truly value their opinions and experiences. Though, of course, if you go down this route, you need to actually act on the feedback you receive. Otherwise, you risk damaging your brand reputation.

3 Crucial Steps in Crafting Effective Brand Collaterals

having brainstorming meeting

Establish your brand guidelines: Clearly define your brand colors, fonts, and overall visual identity in a brand guidelines document to be shared with all stakeholders. This document is vital to ensure everybody maintains consistency across all marketing materials.

Marketing segmentation, customers care, customer relationship management (CRM) and team building concepts.

Identify your target audience: Understand who your prospective customers are and what they care about. This dictates the nature of the collateral you create and gives you the best chance of creating print and digital assets that resonate with them.

Business people meeting at office and use post it notes to share idea.

Collaborate with your marketing team: Work closely with your marketing and sales teams to create collateral that supports their efforts. They’ll have insights that can help you address the needs of potential clients at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Over To You

When it comes to building a successful brand, your collateral plays a crucial role in creating a cohesive and memorable identity that is immediately recognizable to both potential and existing customers.

By investing time and effort into designing high-quality, targeted brand collateral, you can ensure your company stands out from the competition and makes a lasting impression.


1. Why is brand collateral important for small businesses?

Brand collateral is essential for small businesses because it helps build brand awareness, maintain brand identity, and enhance the overall customer experience.

2. Can I just use templates for my brand collateral?

You want your brand collateral to be unique and on-brand, so it’s better to invest some time and effort in creating custom templates, though it’s worthwhile taking a look at what others are doing, too.

That way, you’ll stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on your target audience.

3. Do I really need print collateral?

Don’t dismiss print collateral just yet. It can still play a role in your marketing mix, especially for local businesses or events where your brand is physically present.

4. Can I use humor in my brand collateral?

Absolutely! Injecting some humor into your brand collateral can make it more engaging and memorable. Just be sure to keep it appropriate and in line with your brand voice.

Remember, you’re trying to build a relationship with your audience, and humor is and always will be a great way to break the ice.

5. How do I know if my brand collateral is working?

Measuring the effectiveness of your brand collateral can be a bit tricky, but there are some indicators to look out for. Keep an eye on metrics like engagement, conversions, and brand recognition.

If you see an uptick in these areas, your brand collateral is likely doing its job!

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