As I type this, my 10-year old daughter is in the other room stuffing and labeling envelopes for me for a Lev Promotions’ mailing. Each envelope requires seven steps in order for it to be ready to mail. She is getting paid for this job, but she is learning that it isn’t just completing the steps that is important. It is how those steps are done that can be the make or break in making an impression on the recipients of those envelopes. She is learning that first impressions can be important.
I have stressed to her that it’s not enough to simply put the three components into the envelope. Each component needs to be facing a particular way and the order of the components is important. The address label and stamp have to be in the correct place and as straight as possible. When she asked me why this is all important, I told her that people may decide if they want to do business with Lev Promotions based that envelope.
I put together a sloppy envelope and gave it to her. I asked her what she would think of the person who put it together if she had received that piece in the mail. She looked at the envelope and considered her answer for a moment: “I would think that this is a messy place and they don’t know how to be careful.”
I then asked her if she would trust this company with her brand. (Now, keep in mind that this 10-year-old girl has been around a marketing-minded mother since birth. She often surprises me with her understanding of what a branded message is and she even has somewhat of a grasp on the concept of brand integrity.) She told me that she would not, unless her company was supposed to be kind of “funky and messy.” “I wouldn’t want people to think I do things all sloppy.”
If a 10-year-old gets it, I wonder why some of my adult clients don’t understand that marketing endeavors that look like they were slapped together at the last minute without much thought or effort can actually backfire on them.