A Business Card Represents Your Brand..How Well Does Your Card Represent Yours?
Create Winning Business Cards
You’re at a trade show and handing out your business cards to anyone that will take them. Knowing you will be going through a huge number of cards at this trade show you plan ahead and buy 1,000 cards for $35.00 because it’s just a card that has the basic contact information about me and my company. The card is printed on white or gray paper, maybe that green plastic type card with white lettering. You put your Company name & logo, address, phone number, fax, number (does anyone really use a fax anymore?), your name and title. You have picked them up from a local printer on your way to the airport to catch that flight to Chicago for the trade show at McCormick Place. As you wait at your gate you run into some other travelers who ask where you are going and as you tell them you reach into your pocket to pull out one of your new company business cards and hand it to them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, some type of card is somewhat better than nothing at all, or is it?
The Company business card is the most overlooked, undervalued, underused, misused, abused and neglected part of most company’s overall Public Relations, Marketing, Branding, Communication and Advertising tool that your business employee hands out to others every year.
Do you realize that, in some cases, that card is the ONLY image a prospective client or business will have with you? Sure, you may talk with them on the phone or even talk with them on Skype but, for the most part, that card you hand them will provide them with the perception of what your company represents on a 1-10 scale of decision making criteria that signal to the potential client in sometimes very subtle ways, that yes OR no this company is OR is not a company with which I feel comfortable doing business. Dan Ammerman, who started the Ammerman Experience in Houston, had a very simple, but powerful principle that he and his company follow even to this day. “Perfection is perception” That little typo in your newsletter, or misplaced comma or sloppy looking flyer all, even though small, can reflect negatively on your business. The “cheap” 5,000 cards for $25 deals produce negative perceptions. Why, because they look and feel cheap. They are thin, in black print on white card stock and show absolutely no creativity. It’s no wonder that some are asking if the business card even has any relevance today.
I think, even with a lot of the new technology, a good business card still has its place and does a great job of promoting your business. I would like you to take out your business card and look at it as if it were the first time you had ever seen it. What does it really say about your company? If you were standing at the White House or with a high level group of executives within your industry, would you be “peacock proud” of handing out your business card? If the answer is no, you now need to find a creative approach to your business card.
1. What do you want it to “say” about your Company?
2. Does the card integrate with the rest of my company branding and marketing?
3. Is the information current and relavent? (does it have a QR code on the back?, email address, website information, twitter and/or Facebook page or cell number info)
4. With this card how easily can this person locate my card when he needs it? (what makes this card memorable)
Having spent years in the entertainment, Fair industry, my cards have been 4” round die cut with ridges to resemble a record or CD, another one looks just like an event admission ticket. The reason these both worked so well for me stems from the fact they are:
1. Different from what everyone else uses.
2. Too big to fit into a rolodex (don’t even know if anyone uses those any more) or wallet. It stands out in a pile of cards one might get at a convention or trade show.
3. It represents the industry in which I am involved.
I have seen “DVD” cards designed to look like a Ferris wheel or football helmet with all kinds of information on it. The challenge here is it cannot be used until person goes back to his office and gets onto a computer. I have seen some truly amazing and interesting cards but the reason, it seems that there are not more unique cards out here is COST. 500 of my ticket cards run me $130.00. The return on the investment comes when I get back into my office and call some of the contacts I made at that convention/trade show. The conversation generally goes like this:
Me: “Hi Jim. This is John Owens. We met at the ABCD convention last month. (silence while Jim tries to recall who I am) I am the one with the business card that looks like an event ticket.
Jim: Oh yeah John I remember you.
The conversation proceeds from there. As you can see my card helped jog his memory.
Your business card can be of real help to your company OR it can put your company in a negative light. You make the choice.
John Owens, CFE
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