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Business cards: Little billboards for everyone

By January 21, 2008 July 8th, 2015 5 Comments

I like to think of business cards as mini-billboards: you only have a second or two to make an impression.

I believe strongly that:

Most companies need to be significantly more creative with their business cards (and spend more on design and printing).
Irresponsible? Think again. What’s the most powerful form of marketing? You got it. Word-of-mouth. And when does that happen? Usually in-person.

>Crap cards = negative impression
>Plain cards = no impression
>Interesting cards = conversation

The rounded corners on my business card were pretty unique a decade ago but are more common now. We still get positive comments, but we’ll need to freshen them up sometime soon.

Consider breakthrough design, unique materials, alternate sizes and creating the possibility for interaction.

Everyone should get ’em, and I mean everyone. Why shouldn’t the teller, the bagger or the guy in the warehouse all carry business cards? Sure, they won’t hand many out, but then it won’t cost much, will it? It’s an inexpensive morale-builder that can pay dividends in employee retention and with prospective employee referrals. Besides, wouldn’t it be cool if you could have all your employees sharing your brand with the world?

Last, I can’t do an article on business cards without recognizing one of our clients: Telepress is a Northwest-based company that prints business cards, stationery and more for some of the largest, most-respected companies in the world. Their tagline: “Passionately protecting your corporate identity.” Check them out if you believe your corporate identity is worth protecting.

And if your brand isn’t worth protecting? Well, that’s a bigger problem and you should hire some professional help.

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • I have often been teased about my too giant roladex. I love business cards! As a tactile and visual learner, the act of receiving and looking at a business card helps me remember the person I met so much better and remarkably longer.

    And I hate to admit, I remember the day our company made the decision to let everyone have business cards. The initial cost caused the financial guys to gulp. But you are right, it was worth it.

    I had a boss once who had my business cards waiting on my desk the day I arrived at my new job. It was such a classy touch that I committed to doing the same for my new employees. You are also right about it being a morale builder.

  • Caleb says:

    I’m with you on this one, Patrick. Being in design and advertising for the past 20 years, I find it hard to speak to this point without sounding biased. Your business card is to start conversation. It is a visual reminder. Yes, today contact info is usually transferred to a database and the business card tossed, but if the card is unique, it is more likely to be kept and filed.

    You wouldn’t choose to invest my time, energy and money in being memorable rather than forgettable? The back of my personal card reads “What will you be remembered for or will you be remembered at all?”

  • Lissa says:

    With you too.

    Just had new cards – fresh design – printed. Already doing their magic generating conversation for two reasons:

    – the design, which includes a great photo (I always need help reconnecting face to name and figure I can’t be the only one – and hey, a good photo’s worth its weight in gold)

    – the cards were printed on recycled paper using non-toxic inks and processes, and say so on the back.

    Walking your green talk – especially when it’s clear you’re willing to invest in the future today – gets people talking AND thinking.

    And Caleb – mind if I borrow your ‘what will you be remembered for’ line? That’s a wow.

    Lissa

  • A very professional looking business card is really very important in promoting your business. It makes good impression among customers.-“:

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