COLLATERAL EXPERIENCE

With  most  businesses  having an  online  presence  only,  their brand  environment  for  their client  is  limited  to  their collateral  experience  only.

What is the collateral experience for your customer? Is it a business card? A bill? A thank you note? A request for a referral? Samples? A print brochure?

What tangible items, if any, do your clients experience as your brand?

Now, you may think this is foolish- you are an online business after all, but humans are built for the tangible. We love it. The textures, smells, sounds, and sights don’t just engage our biological senses, they literally create bigger memories of our brands in our clients’ minds.

The collateral experience we give our clients is our modern day in store experience.

So  what  is  an  online  brand to do?

No matter what you offer, you can always send a thank you note.

1.  Handwriting. Your handwriting tells a lot about you. Handwritten note cards go a long way now days. Your handwriting literally tells a lot about your personality. If you're creative, insightful, or

pessimistic and though your client may not be skilled in graphology, their subconscious mind will read the cues. Make sure that your cards are handwritten ones, not computer written to look like handwriting. It matters.

2.  Ink. Choose your ink wisely. From color to flow to smell, your ink is a reflection of your personality.

3.  Paper. Paper quality matters. How the paper from your envelope to the card itself says a lot about your brand. Smooth and sleek says modern and minimal barriers. Matte says down to earth while glossy says glam. The thicker the paper the more luxurious and expensive your brand is perceived.

4.  The smell. Now this one may seem like a tip for a teenage girl in the 1980’s, but it is true. The smell matters. So make sure your paper smells like you. Spritz your perfume or air freshener on it.

5.  Stamp. Today we are not limited to just the flag stamp. Use the stamp to show your personality. And if you don’t like any that the postal service has to offer, you can use one of the many services that allow you to print your own stamp with your unique custom look.

And if you are going to send a thank you note, always include a little something extra from you. What a perfect way to go the extra mile and help your client improve their environment with some- thing from you. 

Ali Craig