Whether your business is brand new or has been going a while, business stationery is something you are going to need at some point as a marketing asset to build your brand. Although often underrated, business stationery is critical to client-facing businesses who need to sell, drive demand and cement loyalty among new and old customers alike.
Think about the last time someone handed you a business card with his or her contact details carefully presented or the last time you picked up that free pen you got at a conference and then went to the company’s website and went on to show interest or purchase.
Although in many cases business stationery is subtle in its marketing effect it can be an incredibly powerful tool for today’s marketers wanting to stand out in a predominantly digital marketing focused culture.
Choosing the right office and business stationery
Now that you understand why business stationery can be an advantageous component to add to your marketing, the question becomes – how do you choose a supplier? The second you search for office or business stationary online you’re confronted with a million entries and sites talking about GSM, printing widths and other probably alien concepts, so below we’ve put together a small guide to take you through the basics of what you should look for in suppliers and products when choosing the right stationery for your business.
When it comes to quality, stationary providers can vary wildly. It’s best to check individual products for details and compare with other providers’ products. If you’re going for a printed product such as business cards or leaflets, you want to make sure the GSM (Grams per Square Meter) is high and that the material used is appropriate for purpose. You also usually want to avoid economy printing as your printed colours will typically turn out weak and fade. Overall it is best to shop around and find a quality printer who can deliver you high-quality business stationery at a reasonable price.
If you are in a rush you’d need to be careful as many stationers will charge enormous amounts of money to get your stationary done quickly. You also need to be vigilant as the extra price for rush orders is usually hidden and only applied at the end of the checkout process.
When speed is essential (i.e. you cannot wait 7-10 days) it’s best to try and find a local stationer who carries out printing. Although on shops on the high street it’s often more expensive, it will likely be more cost effective if you are limited on time.
Usually there is much truth in the old statement that you get what you pay for, but this tends to change when it comes to stationary. You can go to two providers both with a similar products, quality and speed, and get wildly different prices. It is best to compare different providers and offerings and always look for the small print!
Once you have ordered your stationery the last thing you want is for your order to be incorrectly printed, come in poor condition, or not arrive at all. There are many online stationers out there so make sure you check out independent reviews of the company you’re purchasing from to find one you can trust. This will help you avoid the headache of having to send something back or missing a deadline!
Many types of stationary to choose from
There are nearly 50 different types of popular stationary businesses can choose from, including, business cards, letterheads, notepads, pens, USB sticks, notepads, NCR sets, mailing labels, return address labels, notebooks, envelope seals, note cards, appointment cards, thank you cards, sticky note holders, holiday cards, pencils, correspondence cards, compliment slips, diaries, calendars, highlighter pens, postcards…
Don’t go crazy and buy lots of business stationary you won’t use, make sure you’re picking the right stationary for your marketing purpose and that it meets your branding guidelines, quality and price expectations.
A final thought
Choosing business stationary is not rocket science but it is easy to get lost in the sheer volume of suppliers and products available. Make sure you take time researching the best office stationary products and suppliers for your company, it’s worth the effort.
Related: How to create a brand