Creative Alternatives to Business Cards
Posted in Ideas | August 19, 2010 by jason
Attend any trade show, conference or business meeting, and you’re bound to leave with a handful of business cards. For decades these little squares of paper have helped connect businesses to consumers and are among the most common form of business advertising. But times change, and the corporate landscape has been drastically altered since the advent of the business card-so perhaps it’s time these tiny cards got a makeover.
Business cards play an important role in the business world because they facilitate contact between a company and its clients and colleagues. But these cards have become outdated. They are easily lost or thrown away, and because most business cards are the same size and shape, it’s hard to make your brand stand out among the clutter. With a little creativity, promotional products turn into custom business “cards” that are not only more likely to be kept, but help your company stand out and stay top-of-mind. To get your creative juices flowing and find the right business card alternative for your brand, here are some success stories for other companies who abandoned tradition.
- Business Card Holders-You don’t necessarily have to turn the category on its head in order to stand out. Salto Systems, a virtual access control provider that manages digital locks on over 400,000 doors in over 60 countries, wanted to cut down on paper waste at their trade shows. However, they still wanted to give potential clients all the information they may need about their company as well. Salto recognized that just because they are committed to reducing paper waste doesn’t mean other companies in their industry are-so they used it to their advantage. Instead of handing out business cards and brochures at their trade show booth, Salto distributed branded business card holders that held a mini, accordion brochure with all of their company information. Through this innovative alternative to the traditional business card, Salto distinguished itself from its competitors as a brand that not only cares about the environment, but is dedicated to finding ground-breaking ways to serve its clients.
- Mints-Everyone loves promotional mints— at least, that’s what JLM Couture, a bridal gown manufacturer, discovered at US Bridal Week. JLM Couture wanted to stand out from the hundreds of other companies who would be attending Bridal Week, so it took a fresh approach by branding tins of mints with their company logo and web address. The mints were a huge success-attendees who stopped by their booth took “handfuls” of mint tins, and web traffic increased exponentially. In fact, the promotion was so successful that JLM Couture has not only begun to include them in gift bags for fashion, beauty and bridal editors, but they have integrated the mints into their European marketing efforts. Even when the mints are gone, many clients hang on to the tins to store small items, keeping JLM Couture on the top of their minds.
- Rubber Stamps-The best promotions speak directly to your business’s values and goals. Just ask Andrea Romani, an environmental consultant based in Argentina, who hit the nail on the head with her business card alternative. As an environmentally conscious company, Romani did not want to use even recycled paper in her promotion in order to avoid waste. Instead, advertising agency Fischer Portugal came up with the perfect, unique solution: a promotional rubber stamp. Romani could then stamp her contact information onto whatever was around, like scraps of paper or yogurt lids. The highly unusual nature of this execution and its relevance to her business makes Romani memorable. Even if the stamped objects get lost, her creativity will nonetheless keep her in her clients’ minds. It helps, too, that this unique business card alternative gave Romani high exposure on the Internet, introducing her brand to people across the world.
By thinking of creative ways to promote your brand that speaks directly to the essence of your business, your company will stand out against competitors and be remembered by clients wherever you go. With the thousands of promotional products available, you have a seemingly endless variety of ways to create a business card alternative that’s perfectly tailored for your company. Don’t forget to include promotional business card holders, logo business card holders, custom business card cases, and promotional desktop card holders when you get new business cards.
Written by Mark Yokoyama