Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New ideas about business cards

From this article on USA Today:

What's the most important marketing item you have? Here's a hint: it's small, inexpensive, and you probably haven't given it much thought. It's your business card.

Most of us think of business cards as just a reference document: a means of conveying basic information people need in order to contact us. We rarely design our business card with the idea that it will be a marketing tool.

Looking at your business cards as a marketing piece opens up a new way of thinking about that small piece of cardboard.

One cool example that I’ve seen of this is high-end hotels that will print a business card with their logo, your name, and your hotel phone number with the text “In Residence.”  The cost is insignificant when compared to the cost of the room, but winds up being a marketing tool that is distributed by their own guests.

From the article:

Once upon a time, people only put their name, company name, address, and one phone number on a business card. Then came fax numbers, email addresses, cell phone numbers, Web sites.

All that information isn't absolutely necessary. Too much information forces you to use tiny type.

So what should you include?  Again from the article:

  • Color
  • Logo
  • Don’t necessarily worry about the reverse, but make sure you can write on it

I was recently looking at doing plastic business cards as a differentiating device, but realized that I tend to write a lot of information on the back of cards when I give them to people, something that it impossible with plastic cards unless I always carry a Sharpie.

More than once I have received cards with just a name and phone number on them; they are kind of cool because they are a little cryptic (like what you read about in spy novels), but do nothing to promote a brand.

I’d like to find a card carrier the has separators to support multiple business cards for different cards; I find myself putting my blog address on the back of a lot of my cards and should probably just have a card with the website address and e-mail on it by itself.

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