Success is in the cards

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that successful branding is something only big companies with big budgets can pull off successfully.

The truth is, while a great logo, tagline and consistent voice for your communications is important, one-to-one relationship building is the most effective way to evolve a strong brand, even for small businesses with tight budgets,

Strip away all the bells and whistles and a brand is really just your promise to customers. What better promise is there than being able to have a personal conversation with them?

Let’s say you own a store that sells fresh produce and a supermarket opens around the corner that offers exotic fruit at discounted prices. If you’ve built strong relationships with your customers – if you know from your regular chats, for example, that Mr. Phelps likes five McIntosh apples every Wednesday and Mme. Bouchard loves when you ask about her grandchildren – these customers have learned to trust and respect you. They feel that you’re not just trying to sell them; you’ve actually made an effort to get to know them.

They’re loyal because you’ve built your brand around personal relationships – something Nike, Coke or Apple try essentially to replicate on a mass scale with their huge budgets.

But what if you’re not as small as the corner grocer and not big enough to have a hefty marketing budget at your disposal?


Think big impact on a small budget: Send a card.

Low tech as they may seem, business greeting cards are still a personal and cost-effective way to stay in touch. Here are a few corporate greeting card ideas you may want to consider:

1. Thank you cards. Often more effective than a form letter and less time-consuming than a phone call, a thank you card gets noticed.

2. Birthday cards. Build a customer database with information like birthdays and children’s names, and impress them with a card on a special occasion.

3. Referral cards. Word of mouth is still the number one marketing tool. Sending loyal customers business referral cards can offer a huge return on investment.

4. Holiday cards. A festive note during the hustle and bustle of the season is a sure way to strengthen a business relationship.

For more on branded business greeting cards, visit or your nearest Staples to find helpful advice.

Have you found an effective way to stay in touch with customers?

By Adam

December 04, 2009