THE LETTERHEAD PERSONALISATION DEBATE
By Hellen Lubanga
Before settling on a letterhead design, you first have to decide whether you are going to use a pre-existing template or have a letterhead that is personalized to the specific needs of the company. Though existing designs do get the job done; a personalized letterhead can help a company express the identity of the company better than a generic design would.
So are personalized letters for you?
When personalizing your company letterhead it is important to outline what it is you need the document to do for you. Letterheads are not only one of the first representations of who you are as a company, but they also play an active role in progressing your sales and marketing strategy. This is why it is important to lay out all the facts in order to make an informed decision.
Below are just a few reasons as to why you and your business may or may not chose to use a personalized letterhead.
- Pros of personalizing
- It paints you as a company that pays attention to detail
It may not seem like a big deal, however, clients tend to pick up on the fact that you went the extra mile to ensure that communication with them is pre-planned and thorough. This pushes customers to develop an affinity for your brand which in turn builds customer loyalty.
An increase in customer loyalty further results in increased referrals. Happy customers are the best form of marketing
- Personalized letterheads Increase Credibility
When clients view a high-quality business letterhead, they immediately deduce that the company provides high-quality products or services as well. Customized stationery makes your business look professional and experienced. By using it, you are able to build relationships with your existing and potential clientele as they are more likely to trust your company and your brand.
- Strengthens brand awareness
Letterheads contain information of who you are, where you are located and at times a summary of what it is you do. This way customers are able to learn of your existence and they can easily find you. Your colours and design also give a sense of your company culture. For instance, a design with multiple graphics and colours could paint you as bubbly and youthful, while more solid colours and shapes give you a more formal vibe.
- Cons of personalizing
- Personalization may not have the same effect across various cultures.
Various Graphics could mean different things in different cultures. For instance let us say you own a restaurant and one of the graphics used in your letterhead is a crossed fork and knife, (This could be your logo or watermark). There exist superstitions in some cultures that a crossed fork and knife is a sign that the food served is or was not satisfying. Superstitions such as this could negatively impact business and make you lose potential income. It is important to research extensively especially if your target audience is that of an international background.
- One size does not fit all.
In a bid to relate more with your target audience you may choose to add features or designs to your letterhead that are usually associated with the said target audience. For instance, if you own a recreational business such as a swimming pool, but only use images and colours associated with minors. Potential clients may assume that you cater exclusively to children or those yet to reach adult status. It is a good idea to keep it simple if your product’s intended target audience spans across various customer profiles.
- Wanting to be relatable may come off as a stereotype.
We all know specific that demographics are associated with specific likes and hobbies, this can be based on age, gender, race etc. In a bid to seem more relatable to your target audience you risk coming off as stereotypical. It is perfectly fine to include designs you know are more likely to resonate with your target audience however try not to go over the top as this may have the opposite reaction than what you expected.