With the popularity and ease of use of desktop publishing, every employee can and usually creates and designs his/her own letters, presentations and virtually every document he o she needs to pass to a coworker, customer, etc. But the question is: Is everybody trained and capable of doing it in a manner that is aligned with the company’s image and goal? Is your business being consistent? or are you just another amateur?
Coherency and harmony should always be present in all the information conveyed about your business. People learn by repetition. They have done so since they were born and they will continue the same way forever. Once they learn, they don’t have to “think” about it (a new skill, a telephone number, a brand, etc.) anymore. It is imprinted in their mind, available at any time and with little or no effort. Whether you want to learn something new or make other people remember your company, repetition is one of the golden keys. But not just blunt repetition; believe it or not, there are some rules!
Hocus Focus: dispersion of your energy is not the way to go. Every company has a limited amount of resources that must be used in an efficient way. The communication of your message must be focused in those channels that reach the customer in a subtle -yet powerful- way. A professional business card is more effective than just blurting out the name of your business at every person you meet or at the beginning of every paragraph you write with an advertising purpose.
Coherency…again: : It is useless to spend hundreds of dollars in a great logo, if you are not going to use it properly. All your stationery must be designed as an organic marketing tool. Every employee must have the same tools when handing out a document, sales letter, business card, etc. Your company is not a democracy where everyone can design their own personal image of it. Everyone must know which letterhead to use in each case, which personalized and designed mail must be sent within and out of your company.
Message behind the scenes: Although most people are not aware of it, they can instantly recognize the quality of the message and subconsciously make a decision of accepting or discarding it along with thousands more. You must be aware of the message you are conveying. People (aren’t they the ones who will buy our product or service?) don’t like to be reminded of qualities like weakness, insecurity or mediocrity. There is plenty already to go around. Your message must be about strength, uniqueness and excellence. But you have to believe it. Otherwise, they will notice it right away and turn to the next message.
Professionalism: If you want to save a couple of hundreds and ask your “artist” friend to design your company’s image, it is your choice. But remember that it is only professionals who deliver professional work. They are up to speed on what the latest trend is, which colors go with which product and -as a result- how to make your company look bigger, more professional and more competitive. If you are afraid of going professional, your customers will be afraid of following you.
So, why do you need professional designed stationery for your firm? Your business card, brochure, letterhead, email, etc. are the most common devices that come into contact with your customers. Use them! Seize every opportunity to deliver a professional and reliable look of your company.
by Mark Gries