GREETING CARDS: Making the Thought Count
1. Show Those Logos
Joel D. Schaffer, MAS, CEO of Soundline Inc., Randolph, N.J., stated how important it was to keep a client's logo clearly visible on the front of a greeting card. "It's very nice to say Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy New Year's, that's the ultimate sentiment, but in business it's about branding and logo," he said. "Today's greeting card has the opportunity to put the logo right on the front of the card. And that's where clients should be steered more, to put their logo where it belongs, in conspicuous, plain sight."
2. Make it Last
While thoughtful, greeting cards unfortunately become very disposable once the season ends. To keep your client's logos around longer, Schaffer suggested adding value to your cards by having them double as something more permanent. He noted cards that fold into calendars as an example, and also pointed to bookmark cards and co-packaged items like audio CDs and flash drives as other options.
3. Go Sustainable
Schaffer explained that 100 percent recycled greeting cards can be problematic, since cards made from fully recycled pulp will lack the popular bright white inside coloration unless they're subjected to a harsh chemical bleaching process. For those concerned with the environment as well as card-whiteness, Schaffer recommended partially recycled cards that get their virgin pulp from sustainably managed forests. A "sustainably managed forest" is one monitored by an environmental group such as the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forest Initiative, where the lumber-gathering process is controlled so all materials are harvested in an environmentally responsible way.
4. Be Friendly to all Faiths
The likelihood that your client is targeting a multicultural end-user base is reasonable, so you are going to want to tailor your promotional copy accordingly in order to avoid hurt feelings among recipients. "A basic rule of thumb is businesses don't want to say Merry Christmas, businesses want to say happy holidays," said Schaffer. He noted as well that generic seasonal imagery, such as snow, is often preferred to Christian iconography like ornaments and Christmas trees. He explained however, that this was only a general guideline and that companies will sometimes opt for religion-specific greetings based on the personal preference of management or knowledge of their intended end-user group's faith.