Having A Valuable Business Card

Consider the advertising specialty industry. With low barriers to entry, few overhead costs, and seemingly everyone and his sister hustling the same tchotchkes, it’s a business built on relationships. Standing out is, at best, challenging.

At a recent networking event I watched someone disprove that theory.

As dozens of professionals swapped business cards, I noticed one woman eliciting excited reactions from everyone she spoke with. Curiosity overcame me, so I finally introduced myself just to see what the fuss was about.

The business card I received had a pad of imprinted Post-It Notes™ attached to it. This simple idea instantly transformed her otherwise ho-hum business card into a notepad with real value.

Over the years I’ve seen business cards printed on wood, metal and plastic. I’ve experienced cards digital, audio, high-tech and traditional.

Yet excepting a metal ruler/business card received from a scientific supply house, there are few I can think of with intrinsic value, and fewer still that I’ve saved.

True, some cards double as an appointment reminder. Others bear a cents-off coupon or provide space for taking notes.

But a card with an attached pad of Post-It Notes™ was a new one on me.

Here was a woman surrounded by competitors giving away pens, koozies, and keyrings. She differentiated herself by spending a few extra pennies per impression while recognizing the jigsaw puzzle business card would have probably not been appropriate for this setting.

Judging by the reaction she received, she apparently made the right call with her choice of communications tool. I’m also guessing most people kept her card longer than business cards are typically saved.

The experience reminded me of the importance of always trying new marketing ideas. It also reinforced the value of having creative, resourceful people upon whom you can call to develop and/or implement those ideas.

Will every new idea be a winner? Hardly. But as Linus Pauling reminded us; “The only way to have a good idea is to have a LOT of ideas.”

And I know that the next time I need to find a giveaway item that’s a little bit different, I’m going to call that woman.

Because anyone in that crowded a field who can make herself noticed is sure to be an asset for my clients.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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