Ask the Expert

How should you brand your proposal documentation?

Question by: Pete

I have long been of the mind that at the bid stage any documentation supplied should be supplier branded rather than the buyer. Excluding any mockups (I’m in software).

However, our company has recently been acquired and upon meeting my contemporaries within the new company I have found that they heavily brand their proposal documents and swear by it. They go all out on the cover, include a smattering of on brand photographic imagery where appropriate and even place logos in the header and change bullet points to a brand colour or simple logo. The only supplier branding that remains is in the footer in the main.

I can appreciate both sides but wanted to reach out for an expert’s opinion.


Hi Pete

Whilst it is important to demonstrate client focus it is more important that your bid stands out in the buyers environment, therefore it should be the suppliers logo and branding on the material.  Your focus towards the client/buyer can be demonstrated through a personalised executive summary, shared values and concrete evidence throughout the bid this has much more credibility than using the buyers brand and logo.

Personally, I like to see the client logo next to ours on the first page of a bid preferably with a statement or quote demonstrating our partnership.  I have also seen colours used cleverly in diagrams and flow charts indicating the roles within a joint project however you must get the colour pallet correct otherwise it will stand out for the wrong reason!

Something else we must always think about is copyright, the internet makes it very easy to copy/paste a logo but a high percentage of clients now prohibit the use of logo without prior consent – how would you feel if all your hard work in preparing the bid was dismissed as a result of breaching the buyers rules, is it worth that risk?

If you obtain feedback at the end of a bid process why not ask the buyer of their views on the material you use – their feedback should indicate what is best for your industry.

I hope this helps.

Regards

Alison