Importance of Business Stationery
When you are doing business, image is a vital part of your success. Whether you are a small, home-based business with just yourself as an employee or a huge multi-national company with thousands of workers, your business image is a key part of your ability to connect with clients and associates.
These days, the popular term for it is ‘branding’. In the old days, business consultants called it what it is — building an image. Any business consultant will tell you that one of the vitally important tools in branding is your business stationery.
Business stationery is more than just your letterhead, though your company’s official letterhead stationery is certainly important. The term stationery encompasses every bit of paper that your company uses in communicating with its customers and associates. That means letterhead, envelopes, invoices, shipping labels, calling cards, calendars and presentation folders — to name just a few. In order to make the best impression on prospective customers and business contacts, you need to first define your brand — and then make sure that every single piece of communication that leaves your office carries through on the theme. Coordinated office stationery and business stationery make it easy to keep your brand consistent across a wide range of communication and correspondence products.
Why Business Stationery is so important
Imagine that you are interviewing salespeople to handle a million dollar manufacturing contract for your company. You are handed two business cards from two different sales representatives. The first is lightweight and bends easily, has the company logo printed on a plain background and the sales rep’s name is written on a line below the company name. The other card is heavy card stock with a smooth finish, the printing is raised and glossy, and the sales rep’s name is engraved in a font that coordinates with the company logo. Which company would you rather do business with?
Communication on your business stationery is often the first impression that you and your company make on a new business contact. Whether you send a letter of introduction, drop off a business card or include an invoice with a shipped order, the paper on which that message is printed carry a subtle, but very potent message about your business. Choosing business stationery that presents your company positively with the image that you want to project sets up an expectation in the minds of your business contacts.
What you want your Business Stationery to say
Of course, the message you want to send will vary depending on your company, but there are some constants that you want to convey. No matter what your business is, you want your business stationery to deliver the message that "we have really got it together and can get the job done." Coordinated business stationery delivers that message unequivocally. When everything from your business cards to your letter stationery to your invoices includes the same design elements, you subtly establish your company as truly professional.
Branding is more than a logo
There is more to a coordinated appearance than just putting your logo on everything. Every design element of every piece of stationery should coordinate to present a polished image that is unmistakably your own. Every time a customer or contact sees a piece of paper from your office, they should immediately recognize that it came from your office. That is what branding is all about — creating an impression and then making certain that every time your company is seen, it fits that image.
That means that all of your stationery, from business cards to invoices to executive correspondence cards carries common design elements. You should keep colors, fonts, sizes and typefaces consistent across all of your business papers.
What your Business Stationery should include
One of the best ways to ensure that your business image is consistent across your entire suite of office and business stationery is to order it all from the same source. When you source all of your custom business stationery from one supplier, you can be certain of the quality and the consistency of your design across the full spectrum. When you are choosing a source for your business stationery, be certain that they can supply all of the pieces that you will need to put your business’ best face forward. A full suite of business stationery includes:
Business cardsLetterheads (including departmental letterheads)Envelopes in various sizesInvoices, receipts, purchase orders, shipping labelsInternal-use forms (inventory, billing orders, supply request)
Creating an image with your Business Stationery
What impression do you want to convey about your brand? Here are some specific suggestions for paper and color choices that you might make for your company.
Youthful, Creative and Hip — Choose bright, clear colors and rounded typefaces, smooth surfaced papers and glossy finishes
Green and environmentally conscious — Keep it simple. Use unbleached and un-dyed paper with a rough, matte surface.
Executive, Traditional and Formal — Blue and gray are colors that ooze tradition. Stationery in soft gray or blue, or pure white, engraved black type and crisp typefaces will convey authority and tradition.