Business Cards Make A Statement

Feb 19, 2013 | Brand Differentiation

There’s no excuse for bland, boring business cards, but most are.

For the past 13 years I have kept almost every business card I’ve received. I have binders full of them. The card collection does not hold any business value, because I keep all the contact details in my CRM system. Rather they are a physical record of my meetings.

Today I decided to clean my office, and clear out some space on my bookshelves. The binder collection was becoming a hog. I went through every card, and kept only the cards that made a statement.

Of the thousands of cards I had collected, less than fifty were worth keeping.

Business cards are tied to function

99% of business cards look and feel the same. They feature a company logo, person’s name, and contact details. The back might have a picture or a color wash with a tagline or some text. But swap the logo on any two cards, and you probably couldn’t tell anything was off.

The cards all feel the same too. They’re printed on 14 point white card stock. Some differentiate by using a linen stock, and others use a coating. But card-to-card they all feel pretty much the same.

The formula for creating business cards serves a purpose, but it doesn’t make a statement.

Great business cards are premium

An average box of business cards is cheap. You can pick up a box of 500, double-sided cards for $25 from PrimoPrint. They’re inexpensive and they work, but they’re average.

Business cards that make a statement pay more attention to the physicality of the card.

Some of the most stunning cards in my collection have very basic designs, but their choice of card stock and treatments make a statement. Embossed logos, extra thick card stock, or letterpress fonts all change the feel of the card. The extra attention paid to the card stock makes the cards more interesting to hold, feel and look at.

You don’t have to look far to find unique card printers. For example, the Luxe Cards by Moo really feel and look unique. The Luxe Cards sandwich 3 layers of paper together. The edge of the card features a color, and the front and back of the card features a very nice paper stock. Just by touching the card you know they’re special.

Go the extra mile. Spend a few more bucks on the card stock. It won’t break the bank. A box of Luxe Cards costs $200 for 400 cards. Or dig further on your own, and get excited about what can be done with paper.

Great business cards break the rules

The other way cards can stand out is in their design.

The function of business cards is not what it used to be. You don’t need to cram every contact detail on how to reach you on a 2.5 by 3 inch piece of paper. Think it over. What do you really want to communicate by sharing a business card?

One of the more interesting business cards is Steve Martin’s. It states, “This certifies that you have had a personal encounter with me and that you found me warm, polite, intelligent and funny.” And he signs the card when he hands it out. The card acts as a momento.

Your contact details are secondary in the digital world. We all have access to Google, and can find one another very quickly.

What statement do you want to make with your business card?

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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