Your Business Card is CRAP!

I don’t know if this video is true or not, but it’s hilarious.

In addition to being funny, there’s an important marketing principle in there. If you want to get people’s attention you’ve got to stand out from the crowd. To often I see people (and organizations) who think they can be successful by mimicking what successful people (and organizations) are already doing.

They want to have a cool website so they look at other cool websites and make theirs like the others. Everyone is is blogging so they blog about the same stuff. Everyone is twittering so they twitter about the same stuff.

And to be honest, all to often I find myself doing the same thing.

When we do something that’s average, mediocre, or like everyone else, it’s probably boring and will be unsuccessful. Either kick it up or kick it out.

So, what makes you remarkable?

What makes you stand out?

It doesn’t necessarily have to be something you do better than everyone else (thought being #1 at something will make you stand out), just something different.

What mediocre things do you need to stop doing?

8 Responses to “Your Business Card is CRAP!”

  1. Whatever happened to the video disk business card? I wonder if Mr Pop-up card would think those are crap?

    I think doing what others are doing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact I think a lot of the time it’s the best choice, not because I’m a conformist or am lazy, but rather because we can’t be the best or be different in everything we do. Also because sometimes everyone does it the same way because that way is very effective.

    Rather than trying to be original at everything or stand out in everything we do, I think you find one or two things that you are pasionate about and do them better/different than the others. Focus. You can’t be the best or original at everything.

    I’m a musician. If I record some songs, should I go out and create a new medium because everyone else puts out cds or mp3s? No, I put cds and mp3s because that’s what everyone else is doing. A.) My skill is not in developing new media and B.) No one would be able to listen to my music if I create a new media.

    So, I’d say focus on what you are good at and passionate at and be the best at that. It’s ok to be mediocre at the other stuff.

  2. Kurt, interesting points. I agree that we can’t be original and stand out in EVERYTHING we do. I’m talking specifically about marketing. Marketing is about getting people’s attention. If a marketing initiate doesn’t stand out in some way I’m not sure it’s worth doing. But I could be wrong.

    Can you think of an example of a marketing initiative that was unremarkable, but still effective?

  3. Sure. Lowes, Chilis, The Tampa Bay Devil Rays…I could go on…and on…and on. I think about 99% of all marketing done is “unremarkable”. It’s rare to see something that’s really original, that’s why it sticks out. Most marketing is just variations on the same themes and the same methodology and yet there are a lot of companies out there that are doing very well.

    Sure creative and original marketing can be even more effective, but I think it’s rare. I also think creative and original marketing sometime’s fails miserably. It’s a risk. One that’s probably worth taking most of the time, though.

    Having a truly original marketing idea can be great, but I think is very rare. I’d say most of the time, effective marketing is rather unremarkable.

  4. Kurt, I’m not so sure those are examples of effective marketing. The Rays are one of the worst revenue-generating teams in baseball. I haven’t really paid attention to Lowes or Chilis much. A couple thoughts though…

    – If you are just trying to maintain marketshare and remind current/past customers to come back. Perhaps unremarkable marketing can do that.

    – Great ideas/products/services don’t need good marketing to succeed. I’ve never seen any marketing for Roomba, but I bought one because someone told me about it and I thought it sounded great.

    – Sometimes its hard to recognize innovative marketing because it so quickly gets copied.

  5. I think of scanners that are made to scan business cards. Wouldn’t work for his. I’d have to type it in manually. Trash the card.

    I think of business card holder type folders — his card wouldn’t fit, so it goes in the trash since I have no place to put it.

    The $2 bill or the $1 dollar coin doesn’t get used, because there is no space for it in cash registers, or bill reading machines.

    Sure I want to stand out, but this kind of stand out may have a price

    Are there other ways I can stand out with my product, with my presentation, with my brochure?

    I’d rather help people use their tools (card scanners, business card holders) rather than create an obstacle.

    The quality of my presentation should be remembered more than the size of my business care.

    Chris W
    EvangelismCoach.org

  6. This guys makes me laugh. I wonder if I should use an old dirty sock as my business card. Everytime you smell that dirty smell, think, man Norm sure did smell like crap, but hey it was catchy!

    I guess Im too out of the loop (not really involved in places where people hand out their cards and stuff) to care about business cards. I think they are just like junk mail, even if this dude gave me his catchy card its probably going in the trash, especially if he is as annoying as his video makes him out to be.

    I do think you need to stick out, but not in your business cards. But this coming from a place where my normal attire is flip-flops and t-shirts. So my opinion is not worth this guys expensive cards.

  7. Good points, Chris. Sometimes bucking conventions causes a lot of problems. Another example would be doing an all Flash website with unconventional navigation menu. Looks cool, gets your attention, can be frustratingly inconvenient to use.

    Not sure a $4 pop-up business card is the best use of $ either.

  8. Norm, LOL! Yes, there are a million ways to stand out in a bad way, aren’t there.

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