A unique business card that people want to keep rather than discard implies there is something about the card that either fascinates them or makes it useful and worth keeping. This paper discusses some ways to make a business card that stands out from the bunch, prompting people to take a longer or even a second look at it, evaluate its worth, and want to keep it. As the first impression of a business card is visual, Cousins (2013) suggests different ways of making the card look visibly unique, by way of making it fun and trendy, adding colors and images, using strong text, and good printing. Rebekah (2016) offers more variations on making the card starkly more different by using various materials other than paper—metal, PCB, seeds, liquids, and more. A business card need not remain silent, as Lansky (2015) suggests with cards that can talk, while Lauren (2016) goes further and suggest cards that can visibly demonstrate their contents. Finally, Wikipedia (2016) suggests a method to make the business card so useful to the receiver that he keeps it.
Keywords: business card, unique, keep, useful, cool
The business card remains an unavoidable part of doing business. You need it to exchange information and forge relationships—cards being almost as commonplace as handshakes. However, this also means the perspective buyer must retain your business card, as this will remind him of who you are, what you do, and why he should buy from you.
People remember things that surprise them. A business card that visibly surprises the receiver will stand more chances of being retained rather than thrown in the dustbin. The most opportune moment to surprise your perspective buyer is when you are handing him your business card for the first time. The tools at your disposal are the physical form of the card, the text, colors, and images printed on the card. According to Cousins (2013), it is not advisable to deviate much from the traditional shape of 3.5 by 2 inches, as this shape fits best in a pocket or a wallet, but Rebekah (2016) tends to feel it is safe to use even printed peanuts as business cards. Going for a half-sized business card also works well when all you are giving out is a web-address.
The information on the business card is essential, and Cousins (2013) suggests presenting this in a fun and trendy way, with minimalistic design and strong text will definitely leave a lasting impression. Using a minimalistic design also gives the business card an added advantage of being easy to scan digitally.
A business card can also advertise the nature of your business, for example, if you make PCBs, Rebekah (2016) suggests using a thin copper laminated glass fiber board to replace the conventional paper, with etched copper replacing the ink. If you are dealing in metals, thin brushed-metal with etched printing can also make an attractive business card that people would elect to keep.
This is the digital age, and Lansky (2016) suggests surprising your perspective buyer with a business card that talks back when they touch a specific area, giving them a few seconds of audio overview of your business. Although the novelty wears off after a few replays, you can counter that by allowing the recording to be easily replaceable by the user and including a rechargeable battery.
Lauren (2015) has a more advanced suggestion—to use your business card as an audio-visual media for promoting your business. Such cards have a thin liquid crystal display playing the video and an embedded speaker for the audio presentation. Again, to prevent people from discarding the card once they have watched the presentation or when the battery has run down, you must use a rechargeable battery and allow the video presentation to be easily replaceable.
Several suggestions are available for making the business card useful to people so they will keep it and not throw it away. For instance, Rebekah (2016) suggests incorporating a USB stick within a business card, which people could repeatedly use. Another suggestion from Wikipedia (2016) is the idea of a bootable business card. Although a printed business card, it is actually a small CD with a bootable operating system (Linux) on it. This can be very effective in repairing a stalled computer, and people will keep the business card as a recovery tool to be used in case of emergency.
When designing a business card, always honor the basic reason for its existence—you need it to make connections and promote your business. Therefore, keep the card easy to read and to connect to your work online. Your business card should clearly identify what you do and be a part of your brand identity.
Cousins, C. (2013, April 10). Design a Business Card That Won’t Get Thrown Away. Design Shack. https://designshack.net/articles/business-articles/design-a-business-card-that-wont-get-thrown-away/
Lansky, D. (2016, August 7). Presenting Your Audio Business Card-Using Six Magic Words. Podcasting Success Secrets. http://podcastingsuccesssecrets.com/presenting-your-audio-business-card-using-six-magic-words-and-how-failure-could-kill-your-business/
Lauren, C. (2015, May 06). How to Create a Video Business Card. WeVideo. http://blog.wevideo.com/business/video-business-card/
Rebekah. (2016, September 21). Cool Business Cards That People Will Never Throw Away. Financial Hack. http://www.financialhack.com/cool-business-cards-that-people-will-never-throw-away/
Wikipedia. (2016, September 06). Bootable Business Card. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootable_business_card
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