Still Use A Business Card

Does Anyone In Food & Drink Still Need Business Cards
October 5, 2016 John McCallum

It’s still such an important part of the ceremony, when people meet in a business setting, that I think business cards will go out of fashion only when people stop shaking hands.

Obviously, with the internet and sites like LinkedIn, you can find out someone’s personal details before you meet them. Indeed you can find out a lot about someone within a couple of clicks, however, you never fully form an accurate picture until you actually do meet.

Virtual business cards are a great example. They’re very useful when trying to share contact information but the exchange is less impactful. You don’t have a chance to showcase your brand and identity through a virtual business card the same way you would via a regular one.

Don’t get me wrong, the technology is cool and it just keeps getting cooler. There are mobile apps that let you send electronic vCards that include video, location map data, links to your social networks and all your contact info.

As someone recently said; “the big problem with most online and mobile solutions is the need for online and mobile solutions.” Perhaps there’s a business opportunity awaiting the person who can create the perfect e-business card, but until then the fact you need to pull out your phone and go online remains a barrier to virtual cards. It’s simply still easier to hand over a card to someone. That’s when business cards come into their own when you go to those face-to-face meetings. It speaks of being professional, identifying yourself with a company or a brand.

I read recently that employees at Lego give out miniature plastic figures with their contact details stamped on them, that McDonald’s business cards are shaped like a portion of fries. Apparently, Bon Vivant, a Brazilian cheesemonger, uses a miniature cheese grater as its card, that’s something I’d love to see! A Canadian divorce lawyer once gave out cards that can be torn in two; half for each of the feuding spouses.

It is more important than ever that your card stands out. Attempts to reinvent business cards for the digital age so far haven’t succeeded. All of the digital specialists I know still have business cards and still use them, people still greet each other by handing out little rectangles made from dead trees rather than tapping their phones together. I read that Facebook’s boss, Mark Zuckerberg, had a business card printed with “I’m CEO, bitch”, but now has a sensible, grown-up version. You’d have thought that if anyone could do without a business card it was the owner of Facebook, but apparently not.

So much of business is still about personal relationships. We still build bonds with our clients and our suppliers, people need to be able to trust and rely on each other and that’s built over time through human interaction. Whilst machines are doing more and more for us in a business sense humans still need the personal touch. Meeting and speaking is vitally important, be it in a business meeting or in a more social setting.

In the digital age that trust-building process is becoming harder. All of us, from the most senior executives to the newest interns need to work harder than ever to build relationships with people, simply because we see and speak to each other less than ever. So the tactile gains even more importance and that small rectangle of card carries even more value. As the world turns increasingly virtual so the opportunities to make a personal impression become rarer, it’s important we make the most of them when they do arise.

There is still a ritual around business cards. Some people are reluctant to hand them out, some people shower them like confetti. I’ve been at trade shows where you can see people who clearly don’t want to hand over a business card to someone they’ve just been introduced too, clearly envisaging a bombardment of calls and emails in the future. So even today being given a business card still signifies some degree of trust. It’s the start of a relationship, the signifier that perhaps something more meaningful might happen in the future.
As much as the digital world has tried to eliminate the need to exchange those little 85mm x 55mm slips of paper, they’re definitely not dead yet.

Our Root & Toot business cards were printed onto 350 gsm off-white board by letterpress, very much a dying craft, by ‘Glasgow Press’ on their Heidelberg and Vandercook presses allowing us to produce high quality business cards by craftsman at a reasonable cost.

They look great and feel fantastic. Here are a few pics.

Root & Toot business card

Business Card

business cards

Root & Toot Business Cards

root and toot business cards

Mark Graham. Creative Director. Root & Toot.  Visit their site for more details.


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