The business card has long been the one constant in the business world at meetings and conferences. A relatively small, pocketable card containing all the basic information you need to contact or learn more about the business and/or person you just met is a brilliant way to leave a lasting reminder that sticks around long after the initial meeting takes place.
With technologies such as Bump and other digital calling card exchange methods out there, it is easy to consider business cards as a dead medium. After all, most business planning is starting to take place over email, instant messages, and other electronic mediums.
Business cards may not be dead, but they are evolving. They’ve gone from simple phone, address, and fax information to email addresses and more creative discovery methods like Google search terms and Twitter handles. Here are five ways to make your business card more memorable:
Adding a QR code to your business card makes it much easier for a contact with a smartphone to scan it and store the information in their contacts list for later use. Despite the appearance of interest when someone receives your card, you should expect most of these to be tossed in the trash before long. By giving a QR code, you’re taking your contents away from the card and into a digital medium that’s much more permanent.
Have it Perform a Purpose
Kevin Mitnick, a security consultant with one of the most interesting histories you’ve ever heard, decided to create a business card that is tied to his security business. His business card is actually a lockpicking kit with working tools that can be used to pick locks. By leaving a calling card that is functional, it’s harder for someone to simply disregard it and toss it away. Just having something like this is a conversation piece, which in itself breeds brand recognition. While your business card may not need to be as pricey or functional as this, it should relate in some way to your business.
Use Unique Shapes
Standard rectangular cards are everywhere, and they stack very neatly. Unfortunately, no amount of color in the world will set it apart from all the others when they’re sitting in a pile on the corner of someone’s desk waiting to collect enough dust to be tossed in the bin. You want your card to stand out, even if it’s only a little different. If you’re in the food business, consider a business card that is shaped like a 2D dessert.
Never underestimate the power of boredom. Having a business card that transforms into something else is a fun and creative way to leave a lasting impression, especially if your business revolves around design or creativity. A business card that transforms into a table or a little bicycle can be a lot of fun. You can forgo the fancy cutout work and print folding instructions on the back for a more traditional origami creation. You don’t have to sacrifice creativity due to the small size of a card.
Google Search Term
This is one of those memorable tricks that has worked for a number of people in the technology realm. By replacing their more traditional information with a simple message that tells the reader to search a specific term on Google, they’ve proven ownership of that term which adds to the legitimacy to the brand. This is especially useful if you’re in the business of SEO. You want the person you give the card to remember who you are and what you do. By setting a barrier that requires them to take part in your business up front, you’re more likely to be remembered by that person when your services are in need.
What are your business card tips? Comments welcome.