Here at the Studios we are, like any business, inundated with direct mail on a daily basis. Most of it goes in the trash. But from time to time, we’ll hold on to a piece if it seems particularly effective or memorable. We have quite a collection, and it serves as a good source of ideas and inspiration.
We also take note of particularly bad mailings. Case in point, we recently received a mailing from Best Buy for Business. This is what the envelope looked like:
Because the exterior looked so low-budget, we initially thought a not-so-savvy company had—in an act of sheer brilliance—decided to call themselves “Best Buy.” Hey, why not, it’s obviously a pretty good name. Just ask Bust Buy.
But once we looked inside, we knew it was actually from Best Buy, the national chain. Apparently, the company has no style guide, and no problem with staffers/franchisees/etc. sending horrible mailings that only serve to make Best Buy look…well, more like “Worst Buy.”
Here’s a look at the letter itself:
It actually came as a photocopy of what looked like a letter that had been (poorly) prepared with a typewriter. There was no date or signature block. The text was crooked on the page and contained only an oblique description of what Best Buy for Business actually is.
If the corporate business card and obligatory club card key chain had not been in the envelope, we would have suspected fraud, like one of those Namibian “please for help from an orphaned billionaire” spam e-mail messages we get from time to time.
Hey Best Buy, listen up: It’s called brand identity, and when you allow stuff like this to circulate, you’re basically giving up on it. This kind of direct mail would be bad enough had it come from Zed’s Repair Shop. From a nationwide technology retailer, it is unforgivable.