Business cards are relevant, effective and everyone should have one, regardless of their chosen industry or profession. That may seem like an unusual position for a digital marketing agency to take, but it’s true. Before you jump to conclusions, no, we aren’t behind the eight ball and we’re not stubborn to change either. In fact, we wholeheartedly believe that we’re actually progressive for embracing business cards.
The rarer it gets, the more desirable it becomes. In the 1960s and ’70s, vinyl records were at the height of their popularity. People were buying LPs of their favourite artists in droves, but like many things, a newer, “better” replacement eventually emerged. CD’s were smaller, with a cleaner, sharper sound and vinyl was seemingly dead. Recently, streaming services have cropped up as the latest platform. No bulky discs or extensive processes to play your tunes; it’s very convenient…maybe too convenient.
In 2018, the world is in the midst of a vinyl revival, a resurgence of old technology. New generations have caught on and like what they hear. Neilsen’s reported that for the first half of 2018, vinyl record sales grew 66.6% in Canada alone, and there are no signs of slowing down. So how do you explain this resurrection? Industry experts have conflicting suspicions. Many suggest that young adults like the tangibility and presentability of vinyl. Others argue parents’ influence or hipster trends as the rationale. Whatever the reason, everything old becomes cool again, and business cards are no exception.
As LinkedIn grows more popular and new apps like Shapr — the Tinder of networking — continue to pop up every day, there’s no shortage of new tactics available. Don’t get us wrong, we love these tools and use them as much as we can, but those who exclusively use digital means are putting themselves at a disadvantage. Digital tools should be used in conjunction with business cards and other traditional marketing to capture the market. Just like vinyl records, people long for a tangible item they can hold and reference. Business cards provide that at networking events and coffee meetings; those that recognize that early on, are ahead of the curve.
Business cards have come a long way from their basic, rectangular roots. When done well, your business card should be an expression of you, your personality and your personal brand. Nowadays, companies like Vistaprint offer infinite options to achieve that. With completely customizable finishes, paper types, thickness levels and shapes, you can craft a card that really stands apart; our card is in the shape of a jelly jar! A quality business card enhances an individual’s legitimacy and creates a great first impression, not to mention that it opens doors to new opportunities. Career opportunities, business collaborations, and higher profitability can all be the result of a creative business card.
Despite what you’ve read, print is not dead. People still prefer physical wedding invitations over an evite, wear branded t-shirts for company events, and drink their morning coffee from a mug with their company logo on it. If by some unforeseen circumstance, print did completely fall by the wayside, it wouldn’t be long before a resurgence occurred. Physical branded items tap into our senses. As humans, we want to touch, feel, see, smell — scratch and sniff business cards, anyone? That’s precisely why business cards are so effective. So does that mean you abandon digital tactics? Absolutely not. The trick is to combine traditional methods and digital strategies and use both to your benefit.
The marriage of traditional and digital strategies can present lots of possibilities for earned media. A unique, quality business card will likely be shared. Not only will people share it with their inner circle, but some may even share it online, garnering even more recognition. A creative card has a direct correlation with brand awareness.
Business cards are a representation of you, with lots of creative inferences. Do you pride yourself as a trustworthy person? Match that with an ultra-thick paper stock. Have an easy-going personality? Rounded edges can effectively convey that. Maybe you’re passionate about the environment. In that case, Vistaprint makes a card made from post-consumer recycled paper. In addition to showcasing your personality, business cards satisfy that human connection. No new app can replace a smile, handshake and business card. Tactics and processes may go out of date or become obsolete, but people and business cards? They’ll always go together like peanut butter and jelly.