Do you see those capital letters? That means we’re really serious about this. Your business card is often the first impression someone gets about your company. Every detail says something about you, from the thickness and quality of the paper to the printing style, color palette, typography choices, and the displayed information. Your card is a tangible introduction, a handshake people can take with them, so you want it to speak volumes, and you want it speaking louder than your competition.
But before we can delve into why we first need to clear the elephant in the room.
“The Business Card is Dead!”
You hear that frequently from pundits that believe digital technologies have replaced or should replace every type of paper in the workplace. Well, thanks for your opinion. How very postmodern of you. I’m sure we’re all super excited to hear your thoughts on how nothing is original, truth is a lie, and time is just a construct.
If the business card is dead then why am I always lamenting the fact that I don’t have one when I show up to a networking event having forgotten them? In reality, the business card is still an important component of a business’s marketing arsenal. It’s just not the only tool available like it was before digital technologies arrived.
Digital technologies are vital, and there are many ways to connect with people today, but nothing is as immediate or as personal as a business card. Far from being defeated by digital technologies, these new modes of connection render physical cards more important than ever. Business cards give you an opportunity to be an individual in a room where everyone is just potential digital information.
They represent an opportunity to immediately establish your brand with someone you’re meeting for the first time. Of course, you could bump phones and transfer your contact information immediately, or jot down each other’s LinkedIn info, but then you’re just another entry in a contact list, no different than anyone else, with nothing to distinguish you from the 20 other people your contact met that night. Business cards are a love letter to them, welcoming them into your life, and as such they deserve proper attention.
Your Business Card is Your Business
In a recent Forbes interview, Chris Ake, one of the founders of Grand Apps, said something pointed about the importance of business cards.
“When I receive a business card, I create an opinion about the company as soon as the card touches my hand. Is it thin and flimsy? Is it thick cardstock? Was it printed? Was it embossed? Is it a traditional business card size? To me, having a quality business card equates to having a successful business.”
Your business card is often a new contact’s first touchpoint with your company. For that brief moment, before they know anything else about you, your business card is your business. It’s the only frame of reference the person looking at it has with which to define you. In an instant, they make all sorts of snap judgments about you, and how you might stack up to your competitors.
This creates an immediacy that can’t be replicated digitally. Because it has the power to communicate so much information about you and your business, it’s worth taking the time to sculpt those messages. Improving your card helps you control how people see your business and lets you control the narrative that introduces you.
It also distinguishes you from your competition. If you have the most memorable, the most attractive, the most lavish, or the most interesting business card among the players in your industry then it’s your card that will get sorted to the top at the end of a networking event or at the conclusion of a trade show.
While the rest of the pack has their cards quickly tossed in the trash after being scanned and converted into digital form, yours may stick around, passed among colleagues and discussed in the kitchen at lunchtime. A bold design that perfectly captures the ethos of your company or your industry can be share-worthy.
Even if your card simply winds up in a drawer somewhere instead of meeting the shredder, it can serve as a reminder at some point in the future. In an age where the tangible is being devalued, truly unique examples have the opportunity to cut through the clutter.
Your Competitors Are Reading This Article, Too
Your business card needs to be better than your competition’s, but remember that they’re approaching the situation from the same perspective. They’re working as hard as you are to be heard over the pack, and so not only do you need to best their card designs, you need to be ready to adapt when they make a change.
In many ways, your business card is a microcosm of your entire brand. If you take the time and put in the thought required to create a memorable card that people appreciate when it’s handed to them, there’s a very good chance you’re doing the same with all of your marketing collateral, which likely indicates a healthy brand that connects with its audience.
On the other hand, if your card is forgettable, and is failing to make an impression, this could be indicative of a larger problem. Your brand may be losing relevance and your business card, the tip of the spear could be losing its ability to penetrate.
As a symbol of your brand, your business card must be superior to theirs because your brand must be superior to theirs. In order to beat out the competition, your audience needs to sense your superiority everywhere they interact with you. Your business card tips your hat and opens the door, and the rest of your brand cultivates and carries the relationship.
Let Us Design You a Card That Sings
In the days before digital communications, and before business cards, heroes would travel the countryside, bard in tow, strumming their lute and singing the heroes praises to anyone that would listen.
Let us design you a small, rectangular bard of your own. We have years of experience designing outstanding business cards that effectively communicate what makes our clients special and that shout their praises louder than the competition. Give us a call. We’d love the opportunity to share more information about what our design services can do to help your business grow.