Every document is an experience

Even technical or legal documents can convey your product's values and place in the market.

Every document is an experience

One simple but helpful step is to stop thinking about your company’s operational documents as merely transactional tools.

Every document your company produces is an opportunity to emphasize and clarify what your company is all about. Spec sheets, release notes, contracts, invoices, receipts, employee handbooks, signage, etc., are all important tools in the overall effort to clarify your company’s position in the minds of your customers and employees.

Why bother? Because the people you’re dealing with see those documents more frequently, and pay closer attention to them, than they do your actual sales materials. The simple, day-to-day interactions customers and employees have with your company are where most branding and positioning actually happen. Make sure they’re conveying what you want them to convey.

Here are some quick tips for turning a lifeless “informational” document into an effective positioning document (without compromising its usefulness or making it overly promotional):

  • Visual design: Make sure that the document fits the visual brand of the rest of the company, and that it would look perfectly natural sitting alongside your sales and marketing pieces.
  • Writing style: Carry the company’s brand voice throughout the document. This may be tricky with legal documents, but on something like an employee handbook, there’s no excuse for generic corporate boilerplate. Make it sound the way you want your team to sound.
  • Positioning statement: Never miss an opportunity to remind people who you are, what you do, and what makes your company unique. It can be short (a single sentence will suffice), but it should appear almost everywhere.
  • Vivid scenarios: Add emotion, realism, relevance, and context to your documents to help the reader understand the vision you’re trying to convey. If you’re sending a spec sheet for a piece of machinery, don’t just list facts and figures, but take time to show how it makes people feel, what role it plays in their daily work, etc.
  • Call to action: This is the most logical step, and also the most overlooked. If you’re sending information to a potential, tell them what you want them to do next, and point them in the right direction.

Do these things, and you’ll be amazing how much marketing benefit you can get out of your non-marketing documents.