So you cringe at the very thought of handing someone an ordinary "black-ink-on-white-card-stock" business card? Have you thought about the power of an unusual business card design?
Business success depends on showing potential customers that you're different and better than your competitors. The business card design of many businesses are printed in black ink on white card stock. Different is often better.
Thanks to today's modern technology, savvy entrepreneurs can embed or imprint their contact information on nearly every surface imaginable - from wood, plastic, metal, magnets and glass to papers made from shredded money or golf course grass clippings.
So should your next business cards be imprinted on gleaming brass? Or a flexible magnet?
Unusual Business Card Design
Before deciding, rein in your excitement for a moment and engage your brain. What's the true mission of your business card? To impress someone? To give contact information? Both answers are correct, but those purposes are secondary. The primary purpose of your business card design is to make you memorable and desirable.
If your prospect actually keeps your card, remembers they have it, and uses it later, you've got a winner. There are distinct advantages to printing business cards on non-traditional materials:
Advantages of Non-traditional Business Card Design
- An unusual business card design gets noticed. If you can't impress Mr. Hotshot in person with your dazzling smile and delightful wit, a holographic business card can impress him in your stead.
- Unusual business cards are kept. (An artist gave me a business card created from torn cardboard. I've never seen anything like it before or since, and yes, I kept it.)
- Business cards printed on durable material such as plastic or metal last a long time, and imply that the company it represents is solid and reliable.
- Some business card design materials make great tie-ins with specific services or product lines. If you refinish vintage furniture, you could very effectively use a business card made of wood.
- Non-traditional card materials enable non-traditional card uses, too. For example, you can order business cards with peel-and-stick backing. You hand them out like regular business cards but you can also stick them on bumpers, catalogs, wine bottles or directly onto your Rolodex. They're also a great alternative to popular magnetic cards, especially when having a magnet near delicate equipment, such as computers, would be problematic.
- First and foremost is the higher cost. You can get 1000 gorgeous full-color cards professionally printed for about $150. Double that cost for business card stickers. Quadruple it for metal cards.
- Many business cards made of non-traditional materials are difficult to store because of their unusual thickness. A card that can't be tucked into a business card album or Rolodex will be harder to find later on when it's needed.
Even something stored in plain sight, like a magnet on your refrigerator, isn't always the best choice. Because most business cards aren't stored there, many people don't think to look on the refrigerator when they need your service. If you want to make magnetic business cards, include useful information as well as regular contact information.
- It's hard to write on some unusual materials, such as cards made of plastic or metal. Many people like to personalize cards, or jot memory-triggers on the backs of cards.
However, using non-traditional materials to design your business card has its disadvantages too.
Disadvantages of Non-traditional Business Card Design
So is a non-traditional business card design a smart idea for you? Perhaps. In highly competitive industries or when standing out is essential, you certainly gain an advantage by printing your business card design on an unusual surface.
However, a "wow" card cannot disguise a "ho-hum" business, at least not for long. If your company offers an exceptional product or service, coupled with outstanding customer service, you'll grow just fine with more traditional, professionally printed business cards.
Diana Ratliff is an entrepreneur and author who's passionate about the potential of business cards! Visit BusinessCardDesign.com for dozens of strategies, articles, ebooks and guides on making the most your business card.