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$40,000 Impression

April 8, 2010

Adam, Tracy and Thomas Higginbotham

As I retrieved yesterday’s mail, I found three pieces of communication from three colleges where my son has been accepted.  All three are reputable institutions – two of them private universities and one of them a public college. One envelope was branded with gold and maroon lettering in an ivory envelope, one was a regular crisp white envelope with dark blue copy, and the third was a plain white invitation sized envelope.  The inside contents were as different as their outside appearances.

The communication inside the first envelope was very warm, encouraging, and professional. The second letter was direct, institutional and informative. The third piece contained a folded, white piece of paper printed off a computer with a jet inked photo of biology department students. Unfortunately, it looked like my six year old niece could have produced it and it came from the most expensive college.

These marketing pieces spoke volumes about the image of the institutions that sent them. Although my 18 year old son would have never noticed the difference, as an entrepreneur, public relations specialist and consumer, the image and content of the communication provided a window into the “quality” of each college.  By simply looking at these three pieces of mail, we could see and sense the difference in the schools.

Today’s blog is to remind you of the importance of your corporate image and communication materials. Do not underestimate how the public and future clients might judge your company based on your external communication. Sometimes the instant image of your website, e-newsletter, solicitation letter, and business card will establish a feeling about your company you can’t change in the future. 

Sometimes you only have one time to impress the buyer. Are you sure a $40,000 a year client, like a potential college student, is getting the right impression about your company. 

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