There are 29.6 million small businesses in the United States, as last reported by the U.S. Small Business Administration. No matter what field you’re in, you’re going to face a lot of competition. An important part of marketing your company is knowing what you’re up against. You need to take an aggressive approach when it comes to marketing, but that doesn’t mean pushing your brand on customers. It just means you have to use every single opportunity to get your name out there and let your image shine. Custom stationery is another way to draw attention away from the competition. Keep in mind, too, that your competition might be neglecting their stationery design. You’ll be the one people will trust if they have two business cards sitting on their desk and yours is the most attractive. Potential customers will feel like you appreciate them, even if they haven’t purchased anything yet. Also, custom stationery is an affordable tool to help you in your fight against competitors. People get to enjoy your stationery while remembering your name and values. If your competitors only use radio commercials to get attention, for example, they aren’t giving customers anything to take home. Custom stationery gives you the chance to show off your company’s uniqueness. What qualities set you apart from others? All you need is a memorable logo to make a lasting impact. Stationery invites customers to observe your logo at their own pace, without feeling pressured to buy something. Overall, if you want to stand out from the crowd, using stationery that reflects your company’s core values certainly won’t hurt.
A well-designed business card can start a conversation. Plus, it’s an opportunity to share links to your social media accounts. If you give others memorable stationery, people will be more interested in learning about your company and becoming part of your mission. Your custom stationery can encourage customers to get to know you better and connect with your business on a more personal level. If they know your company’s story and see the humanity, passion and values behind your brand, they are more likely to engage with you and use your products or services. Consider this: 67 percent of people are more likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter. Be more than just a brand to customers. Show you care and you’re part of something greater. They’ll want to join you on your journey. A good business card or piece of stationery will help open up a channel for communication, too. If you can make customers feel respected, appreciated and valued by encouraging conversation and feedback, you will have a big advantage over competitors. People are 105 percent more likely to make an online purchase when visitors can interact with reviews and customer questions and answers. However, you don’t want stationery that’s overloaded with too much info, either. You want to keep a clean, simple look that attracts the eye, not overstimulates it. Only include the most important contact information that serves a purpose. Know how you want people to contact you, whether it’s via phone, email or social media. Next time you’re at a gathering or business meeting, have creatively designed business cards handy. You never know who you’ll run into, and as a business owner, you always want to take advantage of the opportunity to network and strengthen connections.
Ninety-two percent of consumers from around the world trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth recommendations, over paid advertising. That’s an even better reason to use every opportunity to create brand awareness and make a good first impression. Making a good first impression is vital to attracting new customers. You don’t have much time to make an impact, either. In fact, you have about 30 seconds to make your first impression count. Some ways to make a good impression are to dress neatly and radiate confidence. Now, imagine handing a potential client a scrap of paper with your name and cell phone number written on it instead of a professionally designed business card. That likely won’t impress them too much. Custom stationery shows clients you are qualified to do the job or give them the product they want or need. When it comes time for them to buy your service or product, your company logo will appear in their mind. A visually appealing business card will excite potential customers, too. They’re more likely to look forward to conducting business with you because they’ll trust you’re passionate about your industry. Plus, business cards conveniently fit your contact information in wallets. If your stationery is especially unique, a client might keep your stationery as a source of inspiration for their own business. Your stationery is an opportunity to spark interest and arouse curiosity, too. Don’t be afraid to be creative and lighthearted with design, as long as you stick to your company tone and image. Always keep your audience in mind. Remember, your stationery creates the first impression and leaves potential customers with a lasting image. It can help you network with clients and boost business overall. Make sure you don’t neglect this important part of your company’s appearance.
Studies have shown even unimportant objects can trigger memories. Want someone to remember you or your brand? Give them a gift. Attractive notepads, pens and even business cards are far more memorable than plain paper or unoriginal business cards. Why waste an opportunity to create memories for your brand? Every time you connect with another business or customer, give them something to take home and think about. This doesn’t mean your stationery needs to be flashy. Instead, be consistent with the style and keep it clean and simple. In subtle ways, your brand’s name and logo will stay in the minds of those you reach. Also, consider that people only retain 50 percent of what they hear. If you give consumers something visual and concrete, you are building strong connections in their mind. Consider how others can share your stationery too, and spread your message even further. For example, if you hand out adhesive notepads with your company logo printed on top, someone might use those sheets of paper to leave notes for others. Suddenly, you have a house or office full of people who are aware of your brand, even if on a subconscious level. When they see your product on the shelf or on a website, they will more likely be struck with a sense of familiarity than if they hadn’t seen your name on stationery. Custom stationery is more personal too, and therefore more meaningful. Think about it — isn’t it more touching to receive a handwritten note from a loved one instead of an email? Stationery is a marketing tool people appreciate because they can use it. And if it’s visually appealing, they’ll take pleasure in using it.
Sometimes, it’s the details that matter most. For example, imagine you had to decide between two chocolate cupcakes for sale. They’re identical, except one comes in a box with a golden ribbon and the other one doesn’t. That one small detail might make you choose one over the other. Your business’ visual design makes a huge difference in how people perceive your company and your product. A Stanford University study found 46 percent of consumers evaluated the credibility of websites based partially on the overall visual design of the site — not just the content. This same concept applies to any detail of your brand’s image. A custom business card with your logo is going to appeal to people and build trust more than an ordinary business card without a logo. Also, people will appreciate your company for paying attention to the details. A thoughtfully designed business card or another piece of stationery will reflect your passion and authenticity. It will show you are focused, thorough and take your business seriously. Great stationery reinforces your commitment to your company and your expert knowledge in your industry. In other words, custom-designed stationery delivers a strong message at little cost for you. Designing your stationery gives you the opportunity to create the appearance that your company is larger than it really is. If your name and title are on a business card, others might assume your company has a lot of employees, even if your business is very small. They might feel more comfortable doing business with a company that appears to be an established entity in a particular industry. Also, sharing the small detail of your business location has more importance than you might think. Customers are more likely to trust you if they can relate to you geographically, as it is a quick way to create a sense of familiarity. Including your address or location is also a handy local networking tool. Lastly, distributing custom stationery shows you encourage communication with customers. You have nothing to hide about your services or products, and customer satisfaction is a priority for you. People are more likely to view you as a credible, trustworthy business if you invite communication. As a result, they are more likely to buy your products. Reliability, expertise and professionalism remain the most important qualities to consumers. Being accessible and offering support are sure ways to build a loyal customer base. By spreading your contact info through custom stationery, you’re inviting others to do just that.