Make it actionable.
“I always consider the stack of business cards on someone’s desk the next day, and what it would require for this person to pick it up and act on it… The business card is an extension of my brand (e.g., a luxury brand should have a business card that screams luxury brand).”
Opt for a modern look and feel.
“When attending large B2B networking events, it’s important to have a business that stands out. In addition to the fonts and color scheme, other important aspects include the material used and the shape of the card. I recently ordered some ‘Luxe’ cards from a company called Moo. They’re much thicker than traditional business cards and the material gives them a flat, modern look and feel. Unique business cards can be great conversation starters and help to make first impressions more memorable.”
Make your cards enviable.
“I have spent a lot of time always seeking out the heaviest card stock… I want people to notice my card… but I don’t want it to be annoying or gimmicky. For me, it should be something that lets people know I take business seriously. My secret goal is that they keep the card and say, ‘This is what our next cards should look like.’ I certainly have done that.”
Be thoughtful about card design.
“As a design professional, I cannot understand someone ever handing out a business card that essentially says, ‘I’ve given this virtually no thought and tried to produce it as cheaply as possible,’ but that’s what I see clients do all the time. I have gone to great lengths (and expense) to produce a card that literally stops recipients in their tracks when they get one of my cards. From the feel and weight of the paper, to the overall design, a recipient draws a conclusion about the person giving it and the company it represents… The message should be, ‘I’m going to treat your business with the same attention to detail, the same high standards of quality I’ve established for myself, and perhaps most importantly, if you’re looking for the cheapest guy in town, I’m not it, and don’t want to be considered as such.’”
Rick Tuckerman, Owner and Creative Director at ZoomIQ
Don’t be cheap.
“When I hand my card to someone, I want it to say ‘Look at me, I value what I do, I’m not cheap, and you should take the time to go online and look at my portfolio.’ I’m a little flashy at times and I like to have fun… A business card should communicate why someone should pay attention to you. It should communicate a level of quality, price and … how someone can follow-up and learn more. This should all be done in a way that aligns with your brand message, quickly and easily.”
Leave them wanting more.
“A business card is more than just a way to give people your contact information – it makes an immediate, lasting impression. My cards, with their unique design—you have to open [them] to get my info—immediately give people an experience with the brand, and showcase the interactive nature of my brand, and by extension, my products. It also leaves people wanting more. Every time I hand one out, they want an extra one to save and keep pristine, which is a fabulous way to keep your brand top of mind.”
Communicate client focus.
“I want my business card to say that I’m focused on my clients … and not myself… Focus is a key element of business card communication. I have fractions of a second to make an impression, and it doesn’t work if there’s more than one competing idea on the card. Another key element is professionalism… A big part of what I do is help clients organize their work, so it’s essential that they see I’m on top of mine too.”
Craft a conversation starter.
“We want our cards to serve as a conversation starter … Japanese businessmen treat every business card with dignity as they believe cards are an extension of their selves and values to others, and we believe in the same concept as well. A business card should communicate thoughtfulness and respect to our potential customers and business partners. This is why we opt … to have thicker paper stock, matted finish. Those who receive our cards may not give it another look after they receive it, but to have communicated our passion even for a brief moment when they first see it is already a win for us.”
Reinforce your digital impression.
“I’m a graphic designer running my own company, so I know first-hand the importance of the business card. It’s an ad for my company… It should give people a sense of what you do and your company’s culture. In our digital age, some say business cards are no longer necessary. However, I think they are a great physical reminder of who you are, which can reinforce your digital impression. A good business card can help connect people.”
Reflect why you’re relevant.
“Since we are an e-commerce company, we need to entice people to go to our website. My cards need to be fun and unique like the brand… Business cards should communicate who you are… My cards are consistent with the website to create brand recognition.” Also a business card needs “to reflect why you are relevant. We use our tag line with logo to show that our candy stands out from the norm.”
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