In honor of the Maker Faire this weekend, and all the DIY, crafty, garage-born businesses that will be selling wares, I’d like to take a moment to talk about stickers. Yes, stickers. Stickers are your friend. They can be the marketing Swiss-army knife that a small business needs to look polished and legitimate (or at least more polished and legitimate than hand-written labels and brown paper bags). Stickers allow you to brand anything a customer sees at your table or takes home with them. Once the sticker comes home with someone it becomes a familiar sight and a familiar brand. Here are some creative ideas that take advantage of the versatility of the humble sticker. 1. Insta-business card Much like with an ink stamp, you can pretty much put your identity and contact information onto anything — a playing card, a glassine envelope, a stick of gum, etc. But you can also do like Juli Gudehus and cut down different materials to the classic 3.5-inch by 2.5-inch biz card shape and then affix your sticker in the same place on all of them. This is a great reuse, recycle method. Or you can be even cheekier and just paste your sticker onto someone else’s old biz card. The Juli Gudehus card was part of an extensive, inspirational collection on Flicker by Dailypoetics. 2. Hang 10. What the heck, hang 20! Once you have some fun stickers printed with your logo and business name a little surgery with a hole-punch and twine turns it into a hang tag for your goods. Most hole punchers are too large for this — you can get an 1/8-inch punch online from Amazon or Paper Source that makes a tiny neat hole. Or if you’re getting a die-cut sticker anyhow you might want to specify a punched hole specifically for this purpose as well as a “peel off” instruction such as this hang tag for Dirt Nap. 3. Seal the deal When wrapping up an item you’ve sold you can use a sticker as a seal. Either when tissue-wrapping delicate objects or to seal the flap of a box or the fold-over on a bag. If your stock in trade is jarred food items or beverages a sticker can act as a safety seal on your items to show if an item’s been tampered with like on these Kitchens of Africa sauces designed by Tridimage.
4. Don’t be afraid of labels A sticker on a generic paper bag or cardboard box transforms it into a branded object for you business, and it’s easier than getting custom bags printed. It works just as well to label pretty much any flat surface — even a shrink-wrapped wedge of cheese.
5. Share the love Stickers are novelty items. They’re a little special and fun. Kids are especially tickled by stickers. So they can be a nice thank you to customers for their patronage or a nice treat for kids who might be bored or cranky. Threadless usually includes a little sheet of stickers with each online order and I know I’m still delighted to get them.