A short introduction:
In my opinion as a branding consultant, business cards are perhaps the most important branding material, equal with your logo. I can hear you asking, ‘But what about social media or your website?’. My answer is always that people buy from people. It is only by leveraging human elements within your social media channels and website that they will ever be effective.
Business cards may be the first time an individual is introduced to your brand. Do it right.
How can you utilise business cards to your advantage rather than blending in with the crowd?
Business cards can come in all shapes and sizes. From square business cards to ones with rounded edges, all the way through to ones made from wood or metal. We rarely lay our eyes on a unique business card, and when business cards are usually given upon meeting a potential client for the first time, this is a problem.
I have two gripes with business cards. The first, if you have been to a networking event or business exhibition, is that they are given out like free perfume samples in Selfridges. Were it possible to exchange unwanted business cards for a 1p coin, I’m certain I’d be able to fill the fountain at Trafalgar Square.
My second gripe is with business card design. A square-edged, low value, glossy, outdated looking business card immediately gives me a negative perception of a brand.
So, let’s see how we can solve these two problems, starting with business card design.
What to consider when designing your business card
Business card design should reflect your brand. Ensure that the colour palette, typography and logo placement are consistent with your other branding materials. Having consistency leads to brand continuity, an individual who has received your card will intrinsically recognise that you are you. This helps to increase psychological trust in your brand, aiding lead conversion.
Think about using QR codes, but do it with great caution. QR codes are a trap that many businesses fall into. However, if you know your static QR codes from your dynamic ones, give it a shot.
Don’t be afraid to be unique. Be bold when it comes to design. This will help you be more memorable. Now, I cannot think of an industry outside of ours where the following design would be remotely acceptable, besides finance. I created our initial business card concept to be as unique and memorable as possible.
Unique aspects change the perception of what a business card is. Printed with rounded edges and Spot UV in order to raise the card (my mobile) number.
However, there are more subtle ways to design a unique business card. Three simple ones are to rotate the card 90 degrees and use a portrait layout, use a vibrant and bold design or to print your card with rounded edges.
Print quality is as essential as design. There is nothing worse than a thin, shiny business card. We all perceive print quality with brand quality. But high quality business cards are expensive right? Wrong.
If Vistaprint is your go-to for business cards, you might have assumed the answer is yes. However, ask yourself why Vistaprint is your go-to. You’ve seen it on TV advertisements time after time. They have to cover those marketing costs somewhere, and that’s why we’ve all paid their inflated prices at some point.
Visual Print (Lincoln), in my personal opinion, should be your new go-to. Their prices are exceptionally reasonable and their print quality is top-notch. When choosing a print texture, I would suggest choosing a silk finish. Silk cards are smooth and premium in feel. If you’d like to sample their range of finishes, they have a nice sample booklet that they will be able to provide you.
Lastly, let’s address the first gripe.
Do not give out your business card like it’s a free taster of the latest healthy drink.
Respect your business card. Imagine the price was less like 3p and more like £3. Give the card out only if you believe you can add value to the other person. You should never be giving out your business card if the recipient does not understand what your business is and what you can do for them.
Your business card should be unique and be printed on high quality paper or card in order to stand out. It is the first time many of your leads may have been introduced to your brand, so it’s crucial to get it right.
So, to summarise:
- Have a great design that catches the eye and feels premium
- Only give out your business card if it makes sense to
Book a free one-to-one appointment with an Identity Agency consultant by getting in touch. Just let us know a time, and a member of the team will be in touch with you very soon!