Are Business Cards Still Relevant?
Business cards have been part of business interactions for many decades. Seeing as they are printed items that require constant restocking, one must ask the question: are business cards still relevant? Most business activities are going digital, including communication with suppliers and clients. This may lead a person to see business cards going digital and the printed version becoming obsolete. I’m not sure that is the case.
What are Business Cards?
Business cards are smaller than a flyer, in fact, the standard size is 90 X 55 cm. An item that fits in your pocket, wallet or sleeve in a handbag. The paper used is thicker than standard desktop printers use giving them that card-like feeling. The purpose is to have your logo and contact details prominently shown on the card so you can give it to a prospective client in pretty much any situation. A striking and well thought through business card design can spark interest and give a great impression to a potential client.
What are the Benefits of Business Cards?
- Connection: establish a physical connection with a client through a tangible piece of your branding. Think of it as the first impression and the last impression. It is what your client will have to be reminded of you and your offering.
- Networking: many events are all about networking. Networking and word of mouth is still by far the best way to gain business that lasts. With so many options in the world, clients want to use the offering of a brand they feel they can trust. When networking it is always advisable to have a business card. Yes, an e-business card is a possibility, it just doesn’t give the same influence as a physical card that can be felt.
- Stand out: use the card design to truly stand out from the crowd. Don’t use something generic. Work with your brand identity to create something that draws the eye and even focuses on the tactile experience. Be different.
What Should a Business Card Design Include?
There are two main elements a business card should always include in the design. That is the brand or company logo and the relevant contact information. Some business cards are a little on the generic side where the email and phone number provided are the office email address and phone number. This is done as more than one member will have access to them and be able to reply if the original contact person is not able. This can be extremely useful for times when a person is on holiday, has taken sick leave, is on a personal day and so on.
In other situations, the contact details are specific to the original contact person. This is typically used for key account managers and sales representatives as they make a commission on the sales. This is a way of keeping their clients and limiting the risk of sharing or losing clients to other sales representatives. A slightly more competitive approach. Another reason for a separate business card that is custom to the individual is for people in senior positions. They will typically be in contact with other senior individuals and will not engage in the day-to-day activities in the office.
There are a variety of ways of going about the implementation of business cards. More generic cards are great for keeping print runs to a minimum while custom cards can get pricey. Especially if the person leaves the company shortly after receiving the cards. In some countries, they like to have the type of offering displayed on the card and even certain business details like registration number. These are all aspects that need to be weighed against the specific role, the country you are located in and the function of the company.
Once you know what information needs to be on the card you can look at the design. The design must have the logo or icon of the full logo incorporated. Then the orientation of the card can be decided. Lastly, how will this card stand out without being overbearing and easily convey the contact information? Each company and card design is unique so it is always best to speak with a professional to get the best outcome possible.