UX Magazine

Defining and Informing the Complex Field of User Experience (UX)
Article No. 3 July 11, 2011

Is Your Brochure An Interesting Read?

I recently received a catalog from Zingerman’s market in Michigan. They are renowned for their customer service; they teach courses in it and recently released a book about it.

What they also get right is making their marketing literature a fun and engaging read. It tells a story and becomes a bit of a page turner.

The description for their “Brownie Sample Gift Pack” from their catalog: Evidence of Evolution

Once upon a time, we only made one kind of brownie. Connie made them in our tiny kitchen, they were Connie’s Brownies. Loaded with chocolate and toasted walnuts, we started shipping them across the country when customers moved out of town and called back to Zingerman’s, begging for a dozen. Their lure was magical, their name changed to reflect it, we started calling them Magic Brownies. Then, after almost two decades, we decided to expand our minds a little, try new combinations

Here’s the delicious result: these new delights rose from our original, primordial brownie and now, like their sire, fly all across America. Lately, they’ve also become a bit sassy… They know they’re nearly our most popular pastry and it’s going to their heads. Send them as a gift and you’ll find out why. The Deluxe version of this gift box has six brownies: 2 each of our original Magic Brownies with toasted walnuts, caramel Dulce de Leche Buenos Aires Brownies and Pecan Blondies. The Ultimate version adds four more: 2 each of our Orange Almond Magic and Genuinely Ginger Brownies.

Is your brochure (even if it is a simple corporate brief) a truly interesting read?

What if you turned it into something anybody would love to read?


User Profile

Howard Mann is the founder of Brickyard Partners, a business strategy agency based in Portland, OR. Prior to founding Brickyard Partners in 2001, Mann owned a premier international logistics company with over 140 Million in revenue, six U.S. offices and a global network of over 40 agents worldwide.

As that business came under severe pressure from the previous economic downturn and industry consolidation, Howard lead the company out from those treacherous times by returning to the basics that make every business great and completing 6 acquisitions that re-imagined the business so it was highly attractive to buyers. Finding that “secret sauce” did not come easily but has fueled his purpose to help other business leaders to never have to go through what he endured. 

Through real world experience and those hard times in the “trenches” of business he has learned that it is not following the latest fad, copying competitors or adding complexity that makes a business truly great. His pragmatic approach and knowing what it feels like to sit in the CEO/Owner chair is what makes his work so different and effective.

In addition to his strategy, marketing and communications work, Mann coaches a select group of entrepreneurs, CEO's and business owners. His highly focused workshops and keynotes help executive teams take aggressive action to unlock the true potential of their organizations and build remarkable businesses that endure. In good times and bad. Online and off.

Howard is a sought after speaker both in the U.S. and around the world. He writes frequently on his blog about the importance of the basics and reconnecting to the passion that too often gets lost as businesses mature.

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