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A Trip Down Business Card Lane

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1


If I took all of the business cards I’ve been given over the years and laid them out end to end I believe I could construct a path from the East coast all the way to the West.  I can’t do that however because all but a couple of business cards have found their way into the recycling bin.  It wasn’t that the information on the cards wasn’t important and valuable.  It was.  No, they found their way to the trash bin because they didn’t stand out enough for me to take note of them more than one time right after I got them.

In many societies it is consider an affront if you don’t present a business card upon meeting someone.  Those business cards are then carefully put into a file, stored and referred to often.  But such is not the case in most of the world.  No, we take a business card as part of being respectful to the person from whom it is given.  Most times we don’t even give it a second look.  We put it into our pocket or a drawer and then months later, while cleaning out the drawer, we simply throw it away with everything else we deem useless.  It is sad that we do that because the people that have given you their cards really believe that it is an important link to their business.  They take much time developing the cards.  Designers are hired.  Graphic artists are consulted and printers professionally print the final product.  And generally it is all to no avail.

So what can you or should you do to make your business card stand out?  How will you be remembered from all the rest of the cards that are laying in the drawer, stuffed in a pocket or tossed into the junk mail pile?  My suggestion would be that you become the outrageous creator of business cards that nobody will ever forget.  Here are a few simple suggestions.

When I create a new business card my ultimate goal is to stand out from the crowd.  Sometimes it works while other times it doesn’t.  What makes my cards stand out from the rest is that I don’t believe in making a business card that fits into any size, style or “normal” category.  Rather I try to make my cards so outrageous that there is no way they’ll fit onto the rolodex built for business cards.  It simply isn’t going to happen.  When you get my card there is a very good chance that you won’t even be able to put it into your pocket nor will you want to.  In fact, once you have my card you’ll walk around showing it off to others noting the originality of it and creating entire conversations about how unique it is and how you wish you would have thought of it for your business.

What do you think would happen if a divorce lawyer developed a business card that looked like it had been ripped in half?  You know, sort of like the “split” in the relationship.  I’ll bet that would get your attention if you were in the market for a divorce lawyer.

How about a soup-type can that announced that you were opening a new can of Whoop *** and would be more than happy to share it with anyone that cared to explore it.  This too could be used in the case of a defense attorney or maybe even a bounty hunter looking for new business.

If you got a business card in the mail that was in the shape of a small envelope and it was filled with seed for growing a small indoor plant what would you think of the person or business that sent it?  Would you plant the seed to see what happened?  Would you save the card and show it to others?  Of course you would and that would be exactly what the local florist had in mind when he sent it to you.  Pretty cool stuff and original, easy to remember and I can guarantee that the next time you’re shopping for flowers or plants you’ll be visiting that shop, right?

What I’m trying to illustrate here is that if you’re not willing to go out on a limb to make your business presentation remembered even through something as small as a business card then you won’t have the guts to go the extra mile in many other aspects of your business.

Have some fun.  Be original and be remembered.  The business you save could be your own.

P.S.  By the way, with the advent of QR codes you must always be sure to put that little code on your card.  It is a gold mine in that when read by the QR code reader it will take the person scanning the code directly to your web-site.  And that my friend is like finding hidden change under the sofa cushion. 



Jun 30, 2011 10:44pm
This is a great topic to consider. Great note about the QR code also, I've been integrating these quite a bit with just about everything. One thing to note, I have scanned all of my business cards and keep them electronic, mainly in Dropbox so I can sync them to all of my devices, including mobile. Not only that, but if I'm on the road and somebody gives me a business card, I will take snapshot of it will my mobile device (using evernote),upload it to Dropbox, and toss the paper card. I see no need for paper cards anymore.
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