Last week, we lunched with a rather senior colleague who’s on job search.
“I need a business card,” s/he explained. And went on to talk about its qualities, like design-worthiness and purpose and so on.
Which (natch) got us to thinking. Is our biz card defunct, out of date, even lame as the digital geeks assert?
Truth: We’ve got issues with bumping smartphones to exchange contact information, not just because technological compatibility ain’t there yet. But also because there’s something about a heavy-duty stock, a great brand look and feel, colorfulness, and a permanence that seduces us.
Sure, we’d be lost without our portable e-database, housed oh-so-conveniently in our phones. It’s handy during a conversation, or meeting, when we absolutely positively need immediate access. On the other hand, we (like the few thousand International Business Card Collectors – and yes, there is such a group) tend to hang on to the best specimens, those that are memorable for whatever reason.
Best also implies yet another quality: Innovation. We’ve seen and heard of USBs attached to a card, one composed from an iPhone screen, yet another functioning as a keyboard. The marketing ideas for our commonplace rectangle are almost endless.
There’s yet another reason for not burying the business card: The networking possibilities. Japan has us cornered on the romance of the meishi (occasionally carrying its own QR code), having created a rather personal ritual around the hand-off of cards. In fact, relationships a few hundred years ago flourished, thanks, simply, to the use of calling or visiting cards.
You, dear reader, know the business case for business cards – from exchange obligations (“Hey, I handed you one – I need one in return”) and etiquette to quick responses and quality messaging. Would you ever give them up? RSVP about the business card’s potential R.I.P. to cbyd.co.