Tangible is back, brand better

We live and breathe technology. Smart phones, dumb text messages, notebooks, PDFs, videos, virtual meetings, cloud computing and all the “apps for that”.

All this stuff has certainly added convenience to our lives, however, its also created a society of gadget addicts. And Heaven forbid, there is no Internet connection for 10 minutes! Someone call 911 and order me a respirator. IT withdrawals are worse than needing a crack fix.

Technology has had a profound impact on how we function and communicate.
This new world order has also zapped the tangible factor in many business connections. The days of touch, hold in your hand marketing and ink on your fingers are gone. We are now a digital domicile. A planet of wifi, plugs, chargers and adapters.

But wait!!!!

We are all striving for meaningful ways to build lasting relationships in this highly competitive marketplace. Maybe it’s time for a little return of those long trusted tangible tools. You know the ones. Things you can feel, throw on your desk, touch with your hands, pin to your real bulletin board. Sorry Pinterest.

Here’s a novel thought.
No one else is doing it, the tangible stuff. This could be your way to stand out. Grant it, digital is cheaper than dirt but so are many of your competitors.

Do this stuff right and the results could be priceless.

I’ve been tooling around with these un-used opportunities and here’s my take on some classic tangibles. Heck, maybe its even the new black.

Tangible postcards.
I just launched a five-card series of postcards and they were not the Walmart model of “low prices”. They were a significant investment for a small business. My total investment was $6,000 and that included, photography, design, printing, red envelopes, and 1st Class ladybug postage stamps (both the red envelopes and stamps are believed to bring good luck). Getting to a clean mailing list required an investment too.

Does snail mail still work?
Everyday, the average, busy businessperson receives around 300 emails and is bombarded with over 3,500 brand messages. So yes, they can work. I believe a few, well-done snail mail pieces can break through the noise and be noticed.

To date, I’ve only mailed two of the three cards and already I’ve gotten booked for a speaking event in January. The fee from this one event will cover 100% of my campaign expenses and then some. In addition to the booked speech, I’ve received 10 calls or emails from people that I’ve not talked to in years. The net effect, I’m back on their radar screen. Thank you snail mail!

Tangible business cards.
Are expensive business cards worth it? Over the years, I’ve written extensively on the importance of great business cards. Business cards are a critical touch point in branding. A cool business card is a surrogate messenger that reflects a brand image for pennies, compared to other useless expenses.

A global client recently told me their new, stand out from the crowd, two-sided business cards, cost four times as much as their old ones did. Not surprising to hear, they will likely be four times more effective too. This card is the first tangible point of contact to many business prospects and it screams their progressive, innovative brand.

Remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Tangible, hand-written notes
Hand-written notes are more important than ever and they are becoming a lost art. Again, not a lot of people send hand-written notes. Instead, they take the non-tangible alternative of sending an email, blowing it off or worse yet, they send a lamo-text message. I’m sure, my relative, maybe, Emily Post, is flipping over in her grave about all of this.

We all can do this one. It’s in everyone’s budget. They will require a stamp though, so if you’re not sure what that is, Google it. Send a card, a thank-you note, or a relevant news article with a Post-it® note on it.

Take back some of those old trusted tangible tools. It’s in vogue. It’s time.

Brand on!