There’s an old Irish proverb that says you can “Put Silk on a Goat and it is still a Goat”. While this may be true in many cases, when it comes to branding, a lot can be gained by making your goat look like a million dollars, rather than letting it roam the fields, freestyle. In this metaphor, the goat is your business’s letterhead and envelopes.
We’ve discussed recently how effective the mere-exposure effect can be in your marketing efforts: so it should be of no surprise that we’ll be talking about it again in the focus of Letterheads and Envelopes today.
Letterheads are a fantastic way to reinforce your brand identity.
Imagine that you’ve been asked to provide some quotes for a new business contract. Nothing fancy, just some basic quoting and some associated documentation to express why your business is the best fit for the job. Typically these types of documents will contain some sort of business branding in the form of letterhead. How professional and effective this letterhead is, will heavily influence how the reader perceives your business.
As the famous (fictional) Lawyer Harvey Spectre once said, “First impressions last. If you start behind the eight ball, you’ll never get in front”. This is true for virtually every aspect of life, but especially in business.
A 2006 study done by the University of Carleton found people decide how appealing imagery is after seeing it for only 50 milliseconds. Further to this, first impressions matter – once they have formed an opinion, they tend to stick with it.
We know from further studies that how visually appealing we perceive something, plays a major part in how much we like that thing. In the case of your business, if a client (literally) likes what they see on paper, they’re more likely to like your business as well.
Every company wants to tell its customers what it is that they represent. Your letterhead, therefore, needs to reinforce your brand message. There would be little value in a childcare centre having a rigid, monochrome look; just as it would make next to no sense for a mechanic to have a book-like design.
Not only does your company letterhead show who you are to identify your brand; but it should also be used for all official documentation. It reinforces your brand’s authority and gives the remainder of the letter credibility. Additionally, consistent branding helps build up a base from which you can develop brand familiarity with the Mere- Exposure Effect. (Repetition, repetition, repetition).
If a well-designed letterhead is the dress on your goat, then a matching envelope is the ribbon around its neck. On almost every occasion, an envelope is the first piece of material that a client will tangibly receive from you. They are unavoidably the first thing that about your business that people take notice of.
As such, choosing the right type of envelope and It’s design are important considerations that many people neglect. That’s not to say your envelopes necessarily need to be a carbon copy of your letterhead, though that is an entirely acceptable route to take; instead, you should have some fun with the design, and create an envelope that demands to be opened and paid attention. (Which we’re more than happy to help you develop)
Much like letterheads, a well-designed envelope can greatly assist in developing a familiar brand identity among your clientele: which in turn builds trust, and stronger business relations.