There's a famous scene in "American Psycho" where a series of stereotypical executives all compare business cards.
The joke is, obsessed as they are in their comparisons, all the cards are basically identical. There's not much difference between Eggshell with Romalian type and Bone with Silian Rail type.
Don't be like them.
A typical business card will get lost in the shuffle, but something unique, like a multi tool business card, can help you stand out. It will remind customers of your business long after you hand it to them.
A Multi Tool Business Card Stays in Customers' Minds
Most companies face a delay problem with their marketing: customers see the ads long before they need to make a purchase decision. The hierarchy of effects theory of marketing explains why this is a problem.
Customers go through a series of stages in response to your ads. First, they become aware of the ad and interpret the message. After that, they need to store the information, and then later retrieve it at a time when they can act on it.
At each stage of the process, you can expect to lose at least half of the potential customers. Twice as many people will be exposed to the ad as will pay attention to it, and so on.
But, if people cannot remember your ad, or in this case business card, you'll lose all of them. The strength of memorable business cards is that they stay in customers' minds based on two factors: availability, and triggers.
The Availability Heuristic
According to the availability heuristic, we assume that events or things that spring right to our minds are more common or more significant.
For instance, people overestimate the prevalence of shark attacks because they can immediately call to mind famous examples. Most of the time, it's a result of news coverage. The news covers sensational stories, and we assume such events are common when we recall the stories.
Custom business cards can work similarly. Because your business card is distinct, customers will be able to recall it easily. Thanks to the availability heuristic, they will assume your company is more significant or important.
The Power of Triggers
In their book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip and Dan Heath explore what makes certain ideas or products stick in the minds of the public. One characteristic is a trigger.
Triggers are signals in the real world that remind people about your product. The Heath brothers use Cheerios as an example. Breakfast time acts as a trigger reminding people about Cheerios whenever they sit down to eat.
Kit Kat used a similar technique to great effect. They associated their product with breaks, much like coffee. Then, whenever people needed a break from work, they would think about Kit Kat.
A multi tool promotional item has the same advantage. Whenever people come across a situation when they can use your tool, it will remind them about your company. Each time they pull it out of their wallet, that is another trigger.
In that sense, you're better off choosing a multi tool with the most possible features. It will be useful in even more situations, expanding the range of potential triggers.
A Public Commitment From Your Customers
Another feature the Heath brothers note is a public commitment to a product. If other people can see your customers supporting your business, they are more likely to do so as well.
The example the Heaths give is the Livestrong bracelet. These bracelets raised millions for cancer research (until the association with Lance Armstrong became a liability instead of a strength). The genius move was making them bright yellow.
These bright yellow bracelets became a public declaration of loyalty. Passersby on the street could instantly see how many people were supporting the Livestrong charity. This social proof then convinced them to do so too.
A multi tool business card, or another visible promotional item, can do the same for you. Whenever customers use one, that will be a public piece of evidence for onlookers that your business is worth supporting.
Such social proof is powerful, and drives word-or-mouth: these onlookers will ask where your practically-minded customer got theirs.
Give and You Shall Receive
The last reason multi tool business cards can be so effective is because they leverage the principle of reciprocity. People feel compelled to return good deeds. It's the socially acceptable thing to do.
So, if you provide your customers with a gift, they are more likely to buy your product to remove the obligation conferred on them by that practical gift. Otherwise, they will feel guilty for being selfish or stringy.
The Hare Krishnas are perhaps the best example of how effective the reciprocity principle can be.
Most people would probably never support the cult, considering the strange dress and behavior of the members. So, when the members accosted people in airports, they did not receive many donations.
A small strategy update changed all that. The Krishnas started giving people flowers before they asked for donations. They did not charge for the flowers. They simply gave them away as a gift from the organization.
Only after they handed over the flower would they ask for a donation. Thanks to this small change, donations skyrocketed. People felt indebted to the Krishnas for the flower, even though they had never asked for it in the first place.
Such is the power of gifts. This power is proportional to the size of the gift and is removed the second you charge a customer for it. So, be generous.
Spend a Bit to Make a Lot More
It's tempting to follow the crowd and print a standard paper business card. After all, many companies will print them for you for free, saving your company money in the process.
But, all those cards do is waste paper. If your goal is to get rid of a few trees, then go for it. But if your goal is to build your brand, you need to think differently.
Spending a bit more on a multi tool business card will improve brand memory, which can drive enough sales to offset the cost. It's an investment, not just a promotion, so browse some of our products today.