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Why business cards still matter in the digital world.

ngd Agency Business Card

We chose the deep impression of Letterpress printing to create a tactile, enriched experience for the recipient.

How a business card, a handshake and a smile will always beat a day of Tweeting!

We tell our clients the business card is the single most important marketing and networking tool at their disposal. Why? Because it’s simple, portable and if done well, very, very effective.

In the age of social networks and marketing, we’ve seen a huge downturn in demand for printed marketing. We could argue how intelligent this is but like all marketing, it has to be gauged on a client by client basis. With this downturn and the headlines proclaiming the death of print, you’d be forgiven for questioning the relevancy of a physical business card.

But actually, as our lives have become more digitised, the business card has gained an increasing importance in the business world and I’d argue it’s now more relevant than it ever was.

“People buy People” is a common business quote because quite simply, it’s so true. It’s also true that you have to work very hard to put your personality across in the various social media channels. Most don’t have the skills and as a result a lot of companies have faceless social media feeds which are little benefit to their customers or themselves.

Face-to-Face marketing is becoming so popular as businesses realise that relationships can be built more easily and you can convey a lot more about yourself in a shorter time. Networking is a constant stream of ‘first impressions’ and this is where a great business card can speak volumes about its owner. Done well it’ll will back-up everything you’ve just spoken about when discussing your company. The business card will either confirm the impression someone has about you and your business or ruin it.

I recently met a gentleman who described his new business as the premium of London concierge services, especially set up to cater for the wealthy, foreign businessmen and their families. He then went on to describe the typical services he’d offer, ending it with “as you can imagine, we’re reassuringly expensive”.  Wow I thought, then he handed me his flimsy, home printed business card and the previous ten minutes of conversation were rendered meaningless.

The business card not only provides prospective clients information about your business and a way to contact you, it also displays your sense of style and personality. Whether this is a good thing or not will depend on how much time or money you’ve invested in to brand and business. If your card is given to someone by a third-party it should still convey your company’s brand values. It should act as your silent salesman, backing-up any conversation the person who has referred you has had, not fight against it as in the case of the concierge service. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get you yourself a well design, bespoke card, although one thing is universally accepted, which is don’t skimp on the stock your card is printed on. So unless you’re selling toilet roll, don’t print your business cards on something of a similar thickness!

ngd Agency Business Card 2

We used Fluorescent ink to match our print branding and to create further standout. We also listed the many services we offer to help with cross selling.

 

Done well, your business card will be more than just a way to exchange your contact details, it’ll help tell your story. If this is all seems a bit too much, invest in a designer to do all this work for you. Obviously we can help with this and would be glad to do so!

Businesses today, if they can afford the time or staff, should be maintaining strong offline and online presence. The on-line social streams are multiplying and the days of the classic Twitter and Facebook combo for a B2C company are long gone. Like TV channels and magazines, the market has become fragmented. Now the job is to find the delivery mechanism, which is all these social streams are, that your target audience uses.

Use social networking to stay in touch with a wider audience, but extend your identity off-line, in the real world as well. There are so many networking groups out there, one will be right for you. Then combine these tools with more traditional marketing techniques and you’ll have a unique way of sharing your contact details, developing relationships and creating your sales funnel.

The lines between social media marketing and face-to-face business networking have all but disappearing. What is the right balance for your company can only be found out by research and comparative marketing. But what’s clear is that a good, well designed and printed business card is the cheapest, most powerful marketing tool businesses have today.

 

ngd Agency Business Card 3

We used the three colours of our branding to create a triplex board. Again to create standout, especially when viewed in a pile of business cards.

Next time you come back from a networking function compare all the business cards you’ve got with your own. How does it stand up? This will give you a clear indication if it’s time to invest in new business cards.

As social media evolves at a pace, conversely the oldest form of promotion, the business card goes from strength to strength.

It does something that tweets and the like simply can’t – it’s a tangible, concise way of saying, ‘this is what I stand for, this is me’!

Filed under: BNI, Branding, Business Advice, Design, marketing, social media, Typography, , , , , ,

Simple, sane words in a time of confusion, to get you more business

I was chatting at a networking function on Wednesday and met someone who said his work colleagues would travel miles to listen to speaker Dan Sullivan. He seems to distil things down, which echoed how I was feeling about all the new media opportunities and business conduct in general.

At a time where you can’t move without someone telling you how they can help with your New Media Strategy blah blah, I think a lot of the time we’re just replacing common sense with modern delivery systems. With any area of business, or design for that matter, unless the foundations are good it doesn’t matter how you dress it, it still won’t work!

Anyway my colleague said the main bits of advise from this talk seemed to back up my thoughts so I thought I’d share them with you.

Five simple points to help you get more business.

  1. Show up on time
  2. Say please
  3. Say thank you
  4. Use your ears a lot more than your mouth
  5. Do what you say you’re going to do

To the point, simple but points often overlooked in the rush to embrace all the new networks, communities and tribes. Do a few things well rather than a lot poorly is my feeling!

Anyway does the list ring true for you?

What do you think?


Filed under: BNI, Business Advice, General Detritus

BNI Pull-up Stand. Display Graphics Demand Shows Increased Optimism In Ecomomy

After last year where we saw a lot of our clients cut back or cancel their exhibitions, this year it’s been busy in this area. Maybe it shows increased optimism in the economy, or they feel there is a certain land-grab opportunity as with fewer exhibitors they’ll have more impact.

We recently did a simple display for our local chapter of BNI. The key here is to keep on-brand and have clear messaging.

Clients always want to put everything on their Pull-up stands, but less is more with these things. Choose one offer or statement and then a call to action like a web address or phone number. The rest should just be branding.

We kept the copy quite universal so it could be used in many situations. Getting extra mileage from each piece of display graphics is common sense when everyone is keeping an eye on their budgets

If you know of anyone looking to promote their business at exhibitions this year please send them a link to this page or give them our number. We’d be glad to meet and listen to their needs.

Filed under: BNI, Design, Typography, , ,

ngd Agency secure UK distribution of Peccavi Wines for local Wine Merchant via BNI

Neville Godwin of ngd Agency (R) and Nic Lunness (L)

Nic Lunness (L) thanks Neville Godwin of ngd Agency (R) for helping secure UK distribution rights for Peccavi Wines

Photography by Medius.

Press Release Issued by BNI Index:-

A SURREY wine merchant has won the sole UK distribution rights for an Australian brand of wine that is taking the world by storm.

Nick Lunness of Woking-based Wines For U, secured the contract for Peccavi Wines following a chance conversation with the owner of a Branding Agency at a Business Network International (BNI) meeting.

Nick got talking to Neville Godwin from ngd Agency, a branding and design agency –www.ngdagency.com – also based in Woking, at the Elmbridge chapter. He was designing the Peccavi Wines’ website and knew his client was looking to appoint a UK distributor for the range of wines.

Nick, who is a member of BNI Woking, was suffering in the recession. He talked about diversifying and going into distribution. Neville explained Peccavi’s vision of producing the best possible wine from the Margaret River region of Australia.

Owner Jeremy Muller (who also has a Surrey connection as he was born in Woking) agreed that a word-of-mouth launch of his boutique range of wines was the way to go and was happy to appoint www.winesforu.co.uk as sole UK distributor.

Nick Lunness said: “Life had been crazy at the beginning of 2009. My business had just gone through the worst three months on record. I was at a BNI meeting when I got talking to Neville. We spoke about my work and the direction I wanted it to go in. Then Neville said: ‘A friend of mine is launching a new wine in Australia and they have no UK distribution. Are you interested?’ My answer was yes and once I knew about Jeremy’s vision for Peccavi wines, I knew I had to be part of the process. The wine has just arrived in the UK and I am looking forward to distributing this wonderful brand to wine lovers.”

Neville Godwin, who was delighted to introduce Wines For U to Peccavi, said: “This deal has the potential to completely redefine Nick’s business. I am really pleased I was able to help him secure the sole UK distribution rights for this premium range of wines.”

Jeremy bought the established vineyard in Margaret River in 2005 and renamed it Peccavi Estate. His team produce two ranges of wines – Peccavi, from single vineyard estate grown fruit and No Regrets, featuring two of Margaret River’s classic blends. The wine is available in its homeland Australia, Singapore, where finance broker Jeremy is based, Hong Kong, Belgium and now the UK.

It has met with critical acclaim from wine critics and is available in some of the world’s top hotels and restaurants.

Its namesake premium range – Peccavi – includes a Shiraz 2007, Chardonnay 2006 and a Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, priced at £24.99 a bottle.

The mid-range – No Regrets – is made up of a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion blend 2008 and a Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 which will be changing to a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend, priced at £12.99 a bottle.

Asked why he chose the name Peccavi, Jeremy Muller said: “Peccavi appealed to me on so many levels. Whether it’s the image of the cheeky dispatch of ‘Peccavi’ by General Napier or the tongue in cheek connotation when alongside ‘no regrets’, there is something in the name that says ‘go on, enjoy life and all will be well’.”

Filed under: BNI, Design, , ,

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