In this world of ever-increasing apps promising us greater connectivity, you may have asked yourself if you really need a business card. We can connect with others in a variety of ways right from our smartphone. Why, then, do we need something as archaic as a tiny piece of paper imprinted with our names?
Business cards seem a little old-fashioned. With their roots in formal calling cards used by aristocrats in the 17th century, business cards morphed into trade cards with the dawn of the industrial age. By the 20th century, cards touting a person’s line of work and contact information became the status quo. In some parts of the world, business cards of today are very formal and are exchanged with a great deal of pomp and ceremony.
In the U.S., cards are often considered a necessary evil or an afterthought. With cheap cards available online, many people put very little thought into what is actually printed on the card. Business cards can seem an unnecessary expense and unimportant in today’s business landscape.
Dismissing business cards as a throwback to the mad men era of business is missing the point entirely.
Despite their diminutive size, business cards can have a big impact. Your card may be the first impression you make with a potential client. It’s a tangible representation of your brand and one that people can keep indefinitely.
Business cards are accessible anytime – there’s no downtime and they work even in those times when people are not connected online. And there’s no need to worry that they’re compatible with someone’s software or device.
Swapping contact information via phone might be quick (or maybe not for those who find typing on a smartphone challenging and slow) yet it refocuses attention away from the person at hand and down to the digital device. Placing a printed business card in someone’s hand doesn’t require a lapse in attention or eye contact during the process. Instead, the swap reinforces the connection.
Technology can make information sharing impersonal. Business cards allow us to connect to someone in the real world.
Even the nicest printed business cards are still relatively inexpensive and easy to carry (and distribute). And that little piece of real estate can be made even more impactful by the addition of a head shot, a QR code to your LinkedIn page or even a map to your brick and mortar location.
Business cards are a great place to tack on a special offer, giving people even more incentive to hang onto your business card.
In our digital world where we remain constantly connected, a printed business card might seem a little antiquated. Yet, that 3.5” x 2” piece of paper can still serve a useful purpose. Do you really need a business card? Absolutely. Sometimes tradition can be of use well into the future.
-LG, AlphaGraphics Franklin | April 2016