If you want your prospective clients to remember you and earn mindshare, it is absolutely crucial that your business has a unique first impression. By the time you meet with a potential client, a significant amount of marketing dollars have already been spent. Will you put in that extra effort to guarantee your business stands out from the crowd?
The great news for you is that it isn’t that hard. In fact, there is a simple formula to figure this out—and you can do it with your business cards.
How to Design Unique Business Cards that Set You Apart
Here are three things we advise clients to do to come up with unique ideas to help their business stand out with plastic cards.
Step 1. List Out Objects That Come To Mind Related To Your Product Or Service
The first step is to list out the physical objects or symbols that come to mind when thinking about your product or service. These are things that are common and closely associated with your business. Here are a few examples:
Optometrist –> Glasses, Eye Chart, Eyes
Plumber –> Plunger, Toilet, Sink
Therapist –> Couch, Rorschach Test, Notebook (maybe this is a stretch)
Electrician –> Light bulb, Fuse Box, Circuit Board
DJ –> Turntable, Speaker, Cassette
Designer –> Mac, Mouse (computer), Trendy Stubble Beard
Web Developer -> PC, Sandals, Unavoidable Stubble Beard ; )
The key is that they relate to what comes to mind when your prospective client thinks about your product or service. This makes your card resonate with them at a subconscious level and they “get it”. Reach too far and there is a good chance the idea will fall flat. Stay away from specific niches or subsets of a professional whenever possible and go for big picture ideas.
Here are some great examples that work:
1. Culligan Water Service -> Water Droplet Shaped Card
2. Salon Software Company -> Blow Dryer Shaped Card
3. Luxury Dessert Company -> Cupcake Shaped Card
4. Pet Store -> Dog Bone Shaped Card
5. Country Music Bar -> Acoustic Guitar Shaped Card
6. Cleaning Company -> Window Cleaner Bottle
7. Realtor -> Key Shaped Card
8. Bike Shop -> Bicycle Shaped Card
9. Thinking Improvement Coach -> Brain Shaped Card
10. Gym -> Kettle Bell Shaped Card
We’ve all seen the construction company with the hammer on the side of the truck with their logo text below it. This is the concept at work. But to separate yourself from the local handyman and make your brand really pop you need proper execution, which we will get to next.
2. Creatively Work These Shapes Into A Design
The next step is to creatively work this object into your design; or be even more creative by working your brand onto the shape of the object (in the case of custom shaped cards). Here I stress emphasis on the word creative. If you are a designer this involves a cup or three of coffee and some sketching. If not, pass these ideas on to your designer so they can put something together.
Don’t have a designer? Sign up here for a free brainstorm session and design with one of our experts.
When designing for a plastic card think of ways that you can take advantage of the clear substrate:
- See through elements
- Tinted elements
- Reversed out elements and negative space
- Non see-through elements (opaque)
As an example, the glasses on the card at the beginning of this article feature a see-through portion where the lenses would be. We have done cassette tape business cards where they are slightly see through just like a real cassette tape, cards that look like X-Rays, and many more.
3. Get Some Feedback
The final step is to get some feedback on your idea. Ideally this should not be from someone in your organization, but from people who might be your target customer. When you or your employees understand the concept they may be blind to the fact that your customer doesn’t. If they don’t understand it you need to go back to step 1 and come up with some new ideas.
Ready to create your own unique business cards?
Schedule a consultation today with one of our experts to find out how we can help make your business stand out.