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7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

7 things to keep in mind about your office’s holiday card

It’s that time of year… when everybody gets inundated with cards. Which means yours needs to stand out. 

by LACI ROTH | NOVEMBER 28, 2018

By the end of December one thing we all have in abundance is a trove of holiday cards from companies we’ve done business with. Which means that each of those businesses invested serious time and resources into designing, printing, and distributing that card. But if that card ends up in a pile or inbox with a dozen others, how is it going to do stand out and do what it’s meant to do? 

Here are seven things to keep in mind if you want your company to have a memorable and effective holiday card.

1. Timing is very important.

There’s cheap, there’s fast, and there’s good… and if you are lucky you can get two of those things, not all three. That means that if you want a good designer to create your card, you’ll need to line them up early, and be willing to spend money for something that will really pop (Expect to pay a graphic designer anywhere from $200 to $500).

We’ve found that designing office holiday cards usually invite lots of group involvement and lots of debating about how the card should look and what it should say. Sometimes the card’s design needs to be approved by a senior partner or a board. If that’s the case, you’ll need lots of time to do the job right. Consider lining your designer by September or October… you’ll be glad you did when it’s December and you’re not stressing about your office’s card. 

2. Electronic or physical? (Or both?)

The most important decision you can make about your office’s holiday card is whether it will be physical (printed) or electronic (emailed). 

Electronic cards offer many advantages: You’ll save money on printing and shipping, you’ll have more flexibility with the design (i.e., consider designing variations of the same card that can be sent to clients in specific industries), and you can send them instantly. 

Print cards, on the other hand, are charming and, depending on the culture of your business, might be more aligned with your company’s brand. (More on that below.) Plus, they’re more likely to be opened and read than electronic cards. 

3. If location matters to your business’s services, then it matters for your card design.

If your business is rooted in an area and that area matters for what you do, then you should incorporate that into your holiday card. For example: A law firm located and practicing in Florida should infuse its Florida “flavor” into the card, thus reinforcing to the recipient who the company is and what they do. 

4. Connect the theme of your card to what you do.

Both the words and the design of the card should subtly remind the card’s recipient what your company does. If your business is technology related, you can find a clever way to show your cheer for tech (Maybe snowflakes in the shape of cogs? Just an idea.). 

5. Capture your company’s culture in the card.

Is your company traditional? Innovative? Reserved? Quirky? Progressive? Green? Edgy? Political? Friendly? Or are you “all business”? 

Whatever the culture, the card’s look and tone should reflect that. Traditional companies should user classic fonts and nostalgic holiday imagery. An edgy company might want its message to be more provocative. A personable company might want to feature photos of its employees with their kids or pets. Either way, the best cards immediately make the recipient feel a connection with the company. 

6. If relationship building is crucial to your business model, make your card more personal.

Some companies like to showcase their entire team, from executives to support staff. In these cases, group photos work wonderfully and should be considered for inclusion in the holiday card.

But some businesses rely more on one-on-one relationships between employees and their clients. In these cases, multiple variations of the card can be created, each focusing on the individual employee targeted at their clients. When that client thinks of your company, they primarily think of their point person, so a holiday card is a great way to reinforce that relationship.

This is also an important thing to keep in mind in determining whether to go with an electronic rather than printed card. Electronic cards offer more variation and customization, so if the cards are being sent to more targeted recipients, electronic cards offer a big advantage. 

7. Take care with your distribution list.

Your distribution list is your biggest asset, so use it well. Send the right cards to the right people, and if you think somebody might find it annoying to receive a card, delete them from your list. 

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5 Scary Ways Your Neglected Website Could Hurt Your Business

5 Scary Ways Your Neglected Website Could Hurt Your Business

5 Scary Ways Your Neglected Website Could Hurt Your Business

A neglected or ignored website can do more harm than good if it features out of date information or software.

by LACI ROTH | MARCH 28, 2018

A few years back you invested a lot of time and money into building a great website. Your job is done… You were able to just set it and forget it… right?

Wrong! A neglected website can do more harm than good to your brand. Here are five ways the website you’re ignoring could be hurting you.

Your website has a news section with old—or little—news

Using dates (months and years) on your posts is a great idea… if you plan to update your website content monthly. But if not, you should try substituting dates with text that is more general. This is a good approach for text that will sit there for a while.

It is a bad look to have a news/updates/announcement page or widget with very few things or only old things. You’re better off not including this feature at all. What does it say to a potential client or customer that you have a “news” page but the most recent news story is three years old? 

Your website contains outdated technology

Does your website have Adobe Flash or a now-defunct identity verification app? Chances are this is not only slowing down your website but could render it completely unusable for many users, and too cumbersome for others to want to deal with.

Your design looks dated

Design trends on the internet move very fast, which is obviously a pain to keep up with. This doesn’t mean that you should constantly chase the trends and overhaul the design of your site, but it does mean that you should be cognizant of how your site appears to the average internet user.

Do you have a homepage slider that’s making people motion sick? Sometimes more is just more, and is not adding any actual value. Sliders are no longer cutting edge—at the very least, having one doesn’t make your site look fresh if the slider isn’t sleek and purposeful. Consider instead using one hero image instead of a slider. If you are set on using a slider, keep it to three or four slides at the most—just make sure they are animated in a way that isn’t overcomplicated (A simple fade is best.).

Malfunctioning software

Websites often use themes and plugins built by third parties. These apps are periodically improved by the developer, but the webmaster is responsible for implementing the update for her website. Not regularly updating third-party apps—and then checking to make sure the website continues to work with the updates—is the number-one way sites become infected with malware or are hacked.

Poor search performance

A website that never gets updated is like a store with a burn-out light-up sign whose owners never bother to repair it. It seems vacant, and customers will likely ignore it. If your website hasn’t been updated in forever, the search engine crawlers will not help, as they are attracted to websites that are frequently updated. This means your site will move farther and farther down the search results and your business will suffer. 

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Things to Consider When Making a Logo Symbol

Things to Consider When Making a Logo Symbol

Things to Consider When Making a Logo Symbol

by LACI ROTH | JULY 14, 2017

My latest logo project was for a new organization called A to Z Consulting & Advocacy. Since the concept of “A to Z” has been used in many businesses and organization logos I wanted to be sure I gave this symbol plenty of thought to ensure its uniqueness.

Things I consider when formulating a new idea:

  • What’s been done before with similar components?
  • What is special about this company—what is the company’s essence?
  • How can I keep the overall look simple but impactful?

It’s important that all of the components used in a logo serve a symbolic purpose. This means not using shapes, swooshes, and lines that don’t help convey the company’s message or brand.

My client’s wish list:

  • Use the “A” and “Z” in the symbol in some way
  • Find a way to convey the ideas of “progress” and “a path forward” as these concepts are fundamental to the organization

The final logo symbol:

I’ve used two letter A’s to form a Z. The A’s also serve as arrows showing movement. By adding circles on either side of the Z, I was able to create to figures who appear to be using each other to help both figures propel forward.

 

 

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