Not To Be Dis-Carded

By John Twomeytake-my-card

For 20 years, we’ve heard over and over that “print is dead.” With the internet and digital/social networking dramatically changing the way we interact and promote, many old printed standbys have gone by the wayside, or at least make little economic sense to produce. Like the 24-page capabilities brochure. The 12-over-12 spot-varnished, die-cut, blind-embossed, foil-stamped, saddle-stitched promo piece. And the die-cut Rolodex card.

One little printed item, however, has stood the test of time. A utilitarian testament to straightforward communication. The ultimate first impression-maker. The 3 1/2-by-2-inch pocket billboard that says, “Hello, this is who I am, what I do, where I can be reached, and this is the brand that I represent.”

All hail the business card. Today’s business cards come in all shapes and sizes, and when well executed, provide a pocket-sized portal into new contacts and everything they and their organization represent.

Over the past decade or so, with the ubiquity of mobile devices, many technologies have tried to replicate the portability and functionality of the business card. While I am a true technophile, and the first to embrace technologies that make my life easier, I think that these virtual card technologies fall short.

Sure, some provide a great way to quickly exchange contact information. But the designer in me cherishes the intangible value of my landscaper’s card printed on the back of a piece of astroturf, or the set builder’s business card that is a styrofoam brick. A well-executed business card does much more than communicate contact information. It becomes a memorable connection to what it represents – the person, and the brand. This is something that a few lines of text stored deep in your contact app will never be able to accomplish.

When was the last time you sat down with a group of new prospects at a presentation and handed out business cards? Probably at your last meeting or presentation, right?

By doing so, you gave all in attendance the option to find out more about you and your organization on THEIR terms. Inversely, you also gave them the opportunity to do nothing. This flexibility is priceless … all made possible without SMS, email, or bumping two devices together. Long live the business card!


Business Card Fun Facts:

  • 10 billion business cards are printed in the U.S. annually
  • 90% of card recipients will toss a card within one week of receiving it – which leaves 1 billion cards that are saved!
  • Recipients will hold on to a unique business card 10 times longer than a standard, boring card
  • For every 2,000 business cards handed out, a company’s sales can increase an average of 2.5%

Check out more here.

Survey: What’s in the cards?

Are business cards still “business as usual” in your company? Take our totally unscientific 1-minute survey. We’ll post the results as an anecdotal snapshot of the state of the business card today.