With technology constantly evolving and everything seemingly available in digital formats nowadays, you may ask yourself, “Is a business card even relevant anymore?” The answer may surprise you: Yes it is! From the U.S. to Japan, business cards are still a valuable marketing tool.
Despite the constant advances in technology, business cards are still often times the first piece of marketing collateral someone will receive when learning about you and your company. Albeit small, this card is the first impression of you and your business. And because of its size, people are more likely to keep your business card in their wallet or on their desk, rather than placing it in a filing cabinet, especially if they find it unique and inspiring.
Just like in the U.S., in Japan business cards are exchanged as a formal self-introduction, with the intent of remembering the person’s name and their role in the company. But in Japan, meishi koukan, the trading of business cards, demands the utmost respect from the receiver, as they view this small marketing material as a physical extension of the person they’re receiving it from.
Because they view business cards in this manner, when one person presents a business card to another, they hold in both hands (with the card turned to the other person and their native language facing up) and extend it to the receiver with the small bow. All of the received cards are kept on display on the table or desk for the duration of the meeting. This ritual is a way to show respect to the other party.
Whether you find yourself conducting business in Japan, the U.S. or somewhere in between, investing in a quality business card is a must. While there are many printing companies out there that offer free business cards, free isn’t cheap enough if the printer requires you put their logo somewhere on their card.
For any business owner or professional, it is essential to contact a good agency or printing company that will create a business card that reflects your style and passion that you bring to your business. Your business cards should reflect the nature of your business in a unique way, and give any receiver an accurate sense of what to expect from your company.
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