Cards and books are both synonymous with Christmas and I think they might soon have something else in common – survival.
Traditional books have already defied the doomsayers who said they would cease to exist as the world embraced e-books for the simple reason that people value them. They feel there’s something special about words on paper even if it means they have to find space somewhere for each new acquisition.
Similarly, while I’m sure we’ve all received fewer traditional Christmas cards in the mailbox and far more via our inbox in recent years, I have a sense that people who understand the appeal and potential of real cards are putting just as much effort – maybe more – into doing it well and aiding their brand in the process.
Electronic cards were great the first few times but now they seem a bit lazy – as if you’re just going through the motions. Even if they are genuinely clever, funny or visually impressive, it’s the card that has the impact, not you. Your superimposed logo, name or greetings are a bit of an afterthought.
On the other hand, a proper Christmas card offers an opportunity to engage with clients, thank them for their business and show that you value your relationship – and to do it in a way that puts your brand and what you stand for front and centre. When else can you send them something that has no other purpose?
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Christmas cards have a genuine shelf life (nearly a month if you send them out early in December) so use that time and use that opportunity. Make it a card you are proud of, that says something about your brand (innovative, prestigious, contemporary or edgy), that uses your colours and that reflects your style. This is difficult to do with a charity card. From a brand perspective it’s better to have your card designed properly.
Each year I have a Christmas card professionally designed and printed. With my surname (Partridge) and my brand name (Peartree Brand Strategy) it’s a no-brainer. The response is always positive and my contacts look forward to seeing what each year’s card will be. And it’s not expensive. For 250 cards this year’s costs will be around $1,000 including postage. That’s pretty cost-effective marketing.
Write a personal message when it’s warranted, and let the card do the talking when it’s not.
Gifts also have their place; not for everyone, but a client who spends thousands with you will genuinely appreciate a $50 present if it’s selected with care, tells a story and is delivered personally by you or one of your team. They’ll think of you when they receive it and again when they use or consume it.
I’ll often choose a theme – an Italian gift in the year that I’ve started working with a new Italian client, for example – or a product from one of my clients. It’s about creating a talking point.
Make sure it’s well wrapped (or the gift will really come unstuck) with paper and trimmings in your colours and you can even attach a swing tag with your brand message.
Have any questions regarding your brand? Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org