Letterheads are used in many different ways to communicate with clients and customers. Sometimes we use them to introduce ourselves and our business, or maybe a new product or service has been added to our range, or maybe to follow up on a potential lead. Even our company invoices use letterheads. So it is important that we use them to convey the right message about our company and our brand.
We know from our own experiences that our customers will be receiving vast amounts of mail, junk mail, quotes, introductions. How do we decide which of our mail should receive further attention? Something must catch our eye to make us look further and keep something to read in more detail. The same criteria applies to our clients.
Quality is important. The quality of the envelope and notepaper and also the graphics, their design, use of colour, artwork and branding. The message must be clear, who it is from, why they are writing, what they have to offer. People need to be able to read the information quickly and easily, not have to guess as to what a company does or read lots of narrative first. This is where branding is valuable, a company identity, colour, logo, slogan all help to instill a sense of brand recognition over time.
The quality of other information contained with the letter is also important. Any leaflets, samples, brochures, pamphlets must also continue to reinforce the company brand identity. When things are clear, easily read, professional and well produced they are far more likely to be kept for future reference. This is why cheap stationery is a false economy. There is far more benefit in having something done well that will be kept indefinitely for reference, than something done cheaply that ends up being discarded.
Letterheads must contain what people want and need to see rather than what we think they should see. Relevant information makes for successful stationery, conveying enough information for people to have what they need to feel confident about you and your company. It provides the public face, the point of contact for your business. Make sure your business stationery is conveying the right information about you and your business.
One of the things that is often forgotten when reordering ones stationery is that the market may well have moved on since you obtained the last batch. As a business coach I advise my clients to consider if they want to stay with the same message, or maybe look at the market and any competitors. Who do you want to present your goods and services to? Could you diversify or open up new markets to different customers. What would they need to learn about you for them to keep your details readily available? Times like this provide an ideal opportunity to reflect on your business and the direction it is going in, and review and revise that business plan if necessary.
– Good quality stationery, paper and envelopes
– The layout does not have to be traditional. Maybe something more modern would do a better job and convey a more up-to-date impression
– Core business skills or a punchline are useful details to itemise
– Sometimes key staff or board members are important to include
– Contact details, office locations
– A logo or brand identity that is contained on all company literature
– Pictures, imagery, something catchy, humorous, memorable
– Decide on a theme, a brand identity that reflects your company, whether it be traditional, modern.
A good graphic designer with printing facilities will help pull all this together in a cohesive way, linking in all the key elements through all the different parts of your brand.