Business Card or Branding Card?

Networking Energy Fall is probably the best season for networking.  Energy and focus are high as we all get back into full business mode after our well earned summer vacations. High Interest Rates This fall is no exception.  Bank interest rates may be low, but networking interest rates are high. So far this fall I’ve met more than a hundred new business contacts.  I expect I’ll do business with some and refer others to people in my network. I’ve also found the people I meet at events to be highly interested learning about my company’s services. Do Business Cards Make a Difference? Why the heightened level of interest?  I haven’t changed Identicor’s service offering or business model, so the credit has to go to my new business cards.  That’s right my business cards. Can business cards make a difference in stirring a prospect’s interest?  Absolutely.  But only if they voyage beyond the Geneva Convention mentality. The Prisoner of War Paradigm Flip through the cards you’ve received lately.  If your stack is like mine, most of them follow the rules of the Geneva Convention.  They do little more than provide prisoner of war information – i.e. name, rank and serial number.  Okay, for business purposes, the serial number is now replaced with phone, website, and email details, but you get the point.  These cards present contact information and maybe a functional description about the company’s products and services. This is all worthwhile content, but it is not enough to pique curiosity about the benefits a company provides.  Prisoner of war business cards can never position a company as a high value brand. Engaging the Imagination In developing the new Identicor cards, I wanted them to do much more than just provide contact facts.  I wanted the new cards to capture attention and engage the imagination.  I wanted the cards to turn the business card exchange into an event that would prompt my new acquaintances to think and ask about how Identicor could help their businesses. Can a business card really accomplish these goals?  Absolutely.  Identicor’s new cards are living proof. Now when I present my cards, people stop to think.  They frequently smile and offer positive comments.  They talk about their business needs.  They actually study the cards.  They talk about the cards to other people they meet.  Why?  Because they get to choose. What Makes My Cards So Special? My new cards have one front, but seven different backs.  Identicor doesn’t have just a new business card, but a collection of business cards. Thought-Provoking Questions The front of the card displays the Identicor logo, service and contact information, and lots of white space.  Each of the seven card backs presents a different thought-provoking question such as: What are you doing in your customer’s mind? Where in the world do you want to do business? How big is your blip (on you ideal customer’s radar)? Questions beg for answers.  They get people to think and respond.  Have you ever mentally replied to a question in print?  (Maybe you just did J) The questions get my new acquaintances thinking about Identicor’s services in the context of their business needs, which is the first step in the sales cycle.  The questions are supported by visually commanding photographs.    

Networking Energy

Fall is probably the best season for networking.  Energy and focus are high as we all get back into full business mode after our well earned summer vacations.

High Interest Rates

This fall is no exception.  Bank interest rates may be low, but networking interest rates are high.

So far this fall I’ve met more than a hundred new business contacts.  I expect I’ll do business with some and refer others to people in my network.

I’ve also found the people I meet at events to be highly interested learning about my company’s services.

Do Business Cards Make a Difference?

Why the heightened level of interest?  I haven’t changed Identicor’s service offering or business model, so the credit has to go to my new business cards.  That’s right my business cards.

Can business cards make a difference in stirring a prospect’s interest?  Absolutely.  But only if they voyage beyond the Geneva Convention mentality.

The Prisoner of War Paradigm

Flip through the cards you’ve received lately.  If your stack is like mine, most of them follow the rules of the Geneva Convention.  They do little more than provide prisoner of war information – i.e. name, rank and serial number.  Okay, for business purposes, the serial number is now replaced with phone, website, and email details, but you get the point.  These cards present contact information and maybe a functional description about the company’s products and services.

This is all worthwhile content, but it is not enough to pique curiosity about the benefits a company provides.  Prisoner of war business cards can never position a company as a high value brand.

Engaging the Imagination

In developing the new Identicor cards, I wanted them to do much more than just provide contact facts.  I wanted the new cards to capture attention and engage the imagination.  I wanted the cards to turn the business card exchange into an event that would prompt my new acquaintances to think and ask about how Identicor could help their businesses.

Can a business card really accomplish these goals?  Absolutely.  Identicor’s new cards are living proof.

Now when I present my cards, people stop to think.  They frequently smile and offer positive comments.  They talk about their business needs.  They actually study the cards.  They talk about the cards to other people they meet.  Why?  Because they get to choose.

What Makes My Cards So Special?

My new cards have one front, but seven different backs.  Identicor doesn’t have just a new business card, but a collection of business cards.

Thought-Provoking Questions

The front of the card displays the Identicor logo, service and contact information, and lots of white space.  Each of the seven card backs presents a different thought-provoking question such as:

What are you doing in your customer’s mind?

Where in the world do you want to do business?

How big is your blip (on you ideal customer’s radar)?

Questions beg for answers.  They get people to think and respond.  Have you ever mentally replied to a question in print?  (Maybe you just did J)

The questions get my new acquaintances thinking about Identicor’s services in the context of their business needs, which is the first step in the sales cycle.  The questions are supported by visually commanding photographs.

 

 

Which Card Do You Want?

Now when a contact asks me for my card, I respond with an unexpected question.  “Sure, which one do you want?”

Intrigued, they want to see their options.  So I show them the cards and state the questions.  Then they have to select the card they like best.  If they can’t narrow it down to a single card, they often ask to take more than one.  If the purpose of printing business cards is to get them into circulation, this is a very good development.

What Do the New Cards Accomplish?

The new business cards make Identicor memorable.  They present the company in a context that is relevant to potential customers.

They demonstrate that Identicor knows how to attract the attention of potential customers, which is what clients hire the firm to do.  They model Identicor’s prowess in crafting captivating language and selecting riveting visuals.

They exemplify key attributes of what Identicor is all about.  On second thought, maybe they’re not business cards after all.  They’re branding cards.

A Branding Card for Your Company

Is your current business card stuck in the Geneva Convention?  Take a look at Identicor’s new cards and consider how you could adapt the concept for your business.  Come up with a series of questions that prompt customers to explore the unique benefits you provide.  If you serve different market segments, come up with a card back that addresses each sector.

Business cards can do so much more for your business than just supply name, title, email, web and phone number information.  Make sure you take full advantage of the card opportunity.

Turn your business cards into branding cards.

And the next time we meet in person, ask me for my card.