Business cards are little cards, usually card stock, printed with the name and address of the holder on one side and the company or person’s logo or message on the reverse side. They are usually shared during formal introductions as an efficient memory aid and a convenience. They have also become an increasingly popular promotional tool, given both in person and online. They are used by individuals and groups, companies and organisations, for all sorts of purposes, from providing names and contact information for customers or clients to promotions and trade shows. Most businesses use them to organise their contacts and keep in touch with existing and potential clients, and they are often given as gifts to loyal clients or employees. The distribution of business cards has become routine parts of networking, business events and publicity campaigns.
While a business card is not as important as it was, few realise that it is an extremely important form of business marketing tool. A good business card conveys several important messages. Firstly, the information contained on it should be concise and clear, with no unnecessary explanations. Secondly, it should communicate the professionalism of the organisation, its values and commitment to service and quality. It should also clearly state the name and logo of the business.
In a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive, it was found that more than 90% of the marketing tools used by companies had an effect on customer perceptions. This means that the business cards that are being distributed to play a crucial role in any campaign. It is often believed that business cards are an insignificant part of the marketing mix. This, however, is a mistaken view, as these little cards can make a world of difference to the success of any marketing campaign.
In the recent past, business cards have been distributed by consumers at petrol stations and convenience stores. This trend has diminished somewhat in the last decade, due to increased competition from online marketing tools. However, if you were to ask any person what they consider as the most important aspect of these marketing tools, you are likely to hear clear opinions about colour and design. The colours and images that are on the business cards can have a direct impact on the first impression a consumer gets when seeing the card.
Apart from the obvious use of colours and graphics, the shape and design of business cards make a huge difference to the first impression. Good business cards have a clean, professional look. They are large, elegant and always have contact information. Any card that does not have contact information is considered to be sub-standard and will not get the desired response.
As far as business cards are concerned, there are many different formats available. The most common format for business cards is the standard business card size. However, business cards which are slightly smaller or larger than the standard business card size can still have a huge effect on the first impression. These slightly larger cards can contain images or logos which can attract the attention of the consumer.