‘Tis the season for promoting good will toward others. That’s why companies use the holidays to connect with customers, prospects, and employees, typically through greeting cards. But you have to be careful when selecting your holiday card, or the greeting that was supposed to strengthen a relationship could end up offending a key customer.
During the past decade, greeting-card purveyor Hallmark Business Expressions, a subsidiary of Kansas City, MO-based Hallmark Cards, has found that companies have become more sensitive to the culturally diverse audiences they serve. As a result, more businesses are seeking elegant, religion-neutral holiday cards to send to contacts.
Last year, for instance, the most popular card in Hallmark Business Expressions’ holiday line featured a snowflake design with a “Happy Holidays” message. Popular motifs also include elements of nature, such as pinecones, trees, deer, snow scenes, and birds. The most popular color for cards is surprisingly not red or green–or even silver or gold–but blue. And what’s really trendy in corporate holiday card this year? Penguins.
If you’re not sure what sort of holiday card to send to contacts, err on the side of caution. According to Marc Wagenheim, product development director for Hallmark Business Expressions, unless a business knows the recipient’s religious preference, it should send a nonreligious card—or even Thanksgiving or New Year’s cards instead.