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Telling Your Story

Jan 5, 2010 12:00 PM, By Don Kreski

Why printed brochures are relevant in an electronic age.

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Visionary Solutions (VSI) brochure

Why a printed piece?

I asked Bakewell why he decided to do a printed brochure rather than just add this material to his website.

“I love that question because, for years, I resisted doing anything in print,” he says. “I tried to stay digital, because we are a technology company, because of green factors, and because printed materials are costly and they’re hard to change. But my customers, dealers, and reps taught me that they needed something that can quickly tell a story.

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“The brochure is like that two-minute elevator speech that every entrepreneur is supposed to have down pat. And it’s in a form that anyone can master.”

Bakewell and I originally talked about two four-page brochures: one to explain the concept of IPTV and one to contain product information. “We combined them,” he explains, “because I wanted one simple thing to keep track of and hand out, one piece that gave everyone the full story every time.”

We both felt strongly that the piece had to be highly visual. People will not read a lot of text until you’ve captured their interest through headlines, photos, and other graphics. So we said this was “Video at the Edge” and talked about and showed a single scalable network handling data, sound, and video.

“It’s not enough to give something like this a contemporary look or a high tech look, because you can do that in a generic way,” says Tony Bonilla, who created the graphic design for this brochure. “We needed a look that differentiates Visionary Solutions from others on the market—a look that conveys, at a glance, something of the depth and quality of this company.”

Was it worth it?

“We got [the brochures] into all of our reps’ hands, we did some mass mailings, and we got a nice pop of quality inquiries when we did the mailings,” Bakewell says. “We got one guy so interested in our products that he started asking if we had any openings, and he ended up interviewing with us.

“But it’s also nice in a day-to-day sense because you don’t have to open up your laptop when you meet a potential customer. You’ve got the brochure right there and it tells the whole story. You can just narrate that story as you flip through the pages, which is also quite useful.

“I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback from everyone who has seen it.”

Don Kreski is the president of Kreski Marketing Consultants, which offers marketing services to the AV industry. You can reach him at

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