5 Steps To Creating A Memorable Holiday Greeting Card
Everbrave recently mailed out our hotly anticipated holiday cards to clients, friends and our suppliers. When “Creativity and Originality” is the hallmark of your business – a store bought Hallmark® Card simply will not do!
This year we decided to send a collection of holiday drink recipes, compiled by our staff members. After a crazy year, we felt it might be nice to give our clients a way to wind down 2016. Each recipe was accompanied by a tantalizing photo of the concoction, along with a personalized note from each of our team members explaining why the drink choice holds a special place in his or her holiday memories.
Because things have changed from the “Mad Men” days of yore, we included a couple of non-alcoholic options and stressed the importance of drinking responsibly – even providing contact numbers for taxis and ride sharing services.
So, in the spirit of sharing, here is our behind the scenes look at what it takes to make a unique and memorable holiday card.
Step 1: Come up with the “Big Idea.”
We put our very best people on this challenge. The concepts were flying faster than Santa’s reindeer after eating a tray of extra-gluten, calorie-enhanced sugar cookies!
Ideas ranged from “Tips for Braving the Mall” (a nod to Everbrave’s name) to developing a holiday board game to an interactive card dubbed “Decorate the Holiday Hipster.” Lavish thoughts such as giving away ugly Christmas Sweaters to wrap around coffee mugs and a phone app that could be shaken to replicate a snow globe proved a bit too ambitious.
Then someone suggested, why not a collection of festive cocktail recipes…
Step 2: Tailor the idea to align with your brand and campaign objectives
Cards need to be personal, sincere and heartfelt. Rather than simply sending random drink recipes, we thought each should include a personal touch from a member of our team – along with a touching story “warmer and fuzzier than the mittens grandma puts under the tree every year.” As a company that believes it is vital to establish relationships with our clients, this seemed a natural approach.
While one unnamed team member’s suggestion of Baileys and Coffee seemed pretty lame, he was redeemed by a tongue in cheek description of getting up at an “ungodly” hour to open gifts. Lesson: Always give an idea a chance before shooting it down!
Step 3: Bring the idea to life!
No, it’s not quite the same as putting a magic hat on a snowman. (But close.)
Our design duo of Alexa and Wilson envisioned a look that was both classy and classic, and arrived at a look that gave a nod to the Gatsby-era of the 1920s. To make it stand out at this busy time of year, they intentionally steered clear of the typical holiday imagery. It was sized to replicate the feel of a “field book” so it could be placed in a pocket and taken along to parties, on vacation – or displayed on the shelf of a basement bar.
Next, we needed photos of each of the finished drinks. Alexa volunteered to be our beverage stylist, choosing a number of props to accentuate the drinks and complement the stories behind each. Wilson put on his photographer’s hat and snapped the pics throughout the office. He wanted each drink to evoke a certain feeling. Hot drinks (the gloggs, nogs and coffees) were bathed in warm light. Summery drinks like the Pimm’s Cup conveyed the brightness of summer.
In case you’re wondering, the drinks were sadly discarded after the pictures were taken. According to Wilson, “If we drank all of them, the last photos would have probably ended up being very blurry!”
We had our writer come up with whimsical names for our cocktails. (We’re not sure if he was sampling the goods when coming up with some of them.)
Oh, and for an interactive component, we invited those who received our cards to submit their own drink recipes – with a chance to get posted on Everbrave’s social media feeds #everbravetheholidays.
Step 4: Get them printed.
Choosing the right paper stock and printing process can be the difference between a card that sings like an angelic holiday choir– or falls flat like the final Champagne-fueled performance at a New Years Eve karaoke party.
A heavier weight card stock was selected for a substantial, tactile feel – and to offer the durability required in a piece that was meant to be kept around for years to come. At the same time, we thought a design inspired by the Roaring ‘20s needed some sparkle (or “bling” in today’s parlance). Our friends at Emerson Clarke Printing helped us by recommending a new digital printing process that uses gold! It was a surprisingly inexpensive way to achieve a truly elegant look, and is an example of just how far digital printing has come.
Step 5: Serve and enjoy
The cards have been sent out. We hope that more than a few of these recipes are recreated and savoured over the festive season.
If you didn’t receive your recipe booklet in the mail, fear not: the Elves at Everbrave have included a downloadable version. Click below for yours. And be sure to check our social feeds to see what our friends and clients submit.