What message is your business card sending?
Branding can be a powerful thing. Your branding can send an unconscious messge to everyone who encounters it. So is it the message you want to send?
Every talk I give on social media begins with a high-level view of the company's current branding, including the brand promise, brand personality, the brand's unique value, and key influencers. Social media begins and ends with the brand.
Last week, a lovely woman came up after a talk on Facebook for Non-Profits and asked for my card. As a matter of course, I spread out an array of quirky Moo cards and asked her to choose: a face photo, colorful ducks or black and white modern art. The reasoning for this is simple: instead of the card exchange ending the conversation, it launches it. Usually this question will spark a brief interaction in which the person is actually engaged in making a conscious decision about how she wants to remember me and my brand. She will pause, smile, and even mull it over out loud: "hmm... I want to remember the face, oh that's a good one... the ducks are cute... nah, I want one with your face, oh black and white is nice."
Last week, I was asked if offering a selection of photos diluted my brand message. On the contrary, it reinforces it. First, all the photos are by me or of me, not designed by a marketing company. My brand is personable without being too personal. Second, the brand is professional yet fun and a tad whimsical. Sure, social media is a lot of work and involves a lot of time pouring over analytics, but that doesn't mean it's not fun and human. Third, I don't offer cookie-cutter answers. Each client will have a different approach and use different tactics, because every strategy is tailored to the organization. Much like some people will prefer the professional face card while others will select the neon ducks, each strategy is tailored to the client's brand promise, influencer circles and budget.
How do your business cards reflect your brand?