So at Smart Resolution we print business cards for our customers. Our sales numbers show that the market for business cards is as strong as ever in 2015. So we talked to our sales team and I thought about the way I use business cards on a daily basis. I mean, me and my team use a lot of the digital contact management tools ranging from LinkedIn, Evernote, iContacts, Gmail Contacts and our Outlook contacts too. But none of have really killed off the actual physical card. I realized that the web has transformed the way we use business cards rather than killing them. Here’s why I think this has happened.
Business Card as an extension of brand:
Remember the last time you used a business card? It was probably at a conference or a meeting. When you received a business card, you didn’t make a note of the information on it, but I’m sure it was your first touch-point with the actual brand. It completes the first impression.
The physical card is often able to evoke memories of the first time you met a person that virtual cards are just not able to replicate. LinkedIn and other online cards all have one basic template and creates a sameness that is hard to stand-out in.
Essential part of the sales ritual:
When you meet a person at a party and decide to stay in touch it’s common to exchange phone numbers. However, when you exchange a business card it’s a signal that the relationship is meant to have an economic outcome. Nothing else signifies the sales ritual as effectively as the exchange of business cards.
The Economic Reason:
As recently as 2014, a popular online printing company (not Smart Resolution) sold over 50 million business cards in the US alone. That sales figure alone is a great signal that business cards have not lost value in the Smartphone era.