With everything going digital, it seems to me that the written word, or even printed materials, rather, becomes more coveted than ever before. Having that tangible object elicits some kind of sentiment with which we are not necessarily able to convey with an email or a tweet. I bring this up since over the last two to three months, I received at least two handwritten notes that, while they may not be much, permit me to appreciate the brand so much more.
The first instance, depicted above, is a postcard mailed to me by one of the sales representatives at Equinox’s Park Ave location. The verbiage isn’t so important, as it is the stock writing that comes with the welcome later, which I received the same day as this one, but it is the pen-to-paper action that is key in sealing some sort of positive experience with a brand. Of course, there adds the personal touch, which one can see with brand representatives emailing us, whether it be John Sexton for NYU (for instance) or the gym manager.
The second instance, more recent is not only impressive because of the move to reward engaged customers, but also the written conception of the brand’s voice. For those that don’t know, I tend to seek refuge at Whole Foods (mostly the Union Square location), especially between and after my shows at NYFW. In tweeting these messages and engaging with the @wholefoodsnyc account, I was rewarded with a “present,” which were two $10 gift cards and a personalized note from the team. Albeit, it takes merely seconds to scribble a message and to usher it to the post, but that authenticity that is sometimes lost in digital media is regained, and thus permitting me to “view” Whole Foods as an amicable brand. That and it gets you talking about the brand – while waiting for my gift to arrive in the post, I can’t count how many people I’ve told about my positive experience with the Whole Foods team.
So what has become of the written word? In addition to adding a “voice” or personality to a brand’s social networking accounts, letters and postcards have in effect become a means of communicating authenticity to an individual, and creating and reinforcing a bond between customer and brand.