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Thread: Unique Business Cards

  1. #41
    krj
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    Has anyone ever used Vistaprint?

    I like the fact that you can coordinate your products - same logo and design on business cards, banners, letterhead, envelopes, car magnets, t-shirts etc.

    I have found a design on their site that I like, works for the business I will be starting, looks cost effective and professional. I've never used them before but am interested in giving their products a try.
    Last edited by cbscreative; 07-17-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  2. #42
    Refugee from the .com Array cbscreative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krj View Post
    Has anyone ever used Vistaprint?
    I haven't, but I know they are probably the most popular printing service on the Internet and many people swear by them. I'm sure their prices are the biggest reason for their popularity.

    For some businesses, this model may be fine, maybe even ideal when cost is the primary concern and it's not a high priority item. However, with the principle of "differentiation" being in the cardinal rules of marketing, using the same templates as millions of other people to create your materials is not a good way to stand out.

    Since this thread is about business cards, even "expensive" business cards are among the cheapest ways to make a good impression. It's not necessary to spend a lot of money to have nice cards. To me, I look for indicators that the person I'm considering doing business with is serious about their business. Cheap looking cards make me wonder where else they are willing to cut costs, and most of the time, I notice other evidence against them. I won't say I judge on cards alone, but it's amazing how the same motivation that drives a business person to skimp on cards spills over to other business practices and reveals a lot about their commitment to their customers.
    Steve Chittenden

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  3. #43
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    Is quality always necessary? I sit in front of a computer and a telephone all day. I do no local business. If I was single I might want some for picking up chicks But I'm the extreme. Take someone who needs one every once and a while. Or take the guy that cut down the 65 foot tree in my front yard. His were printed on his home PC. It didn't deter me from hiring him.

    The graphics threads and even the copy writing thread everybody says "you must have quality". I don't think that is always true.

  4. #44
    Get In Where You Fit In Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    Is quality always necessary? I sit in front of a computer and a telephone all day. I do no local business. If I was single I might want some for picking up chicks But I'm the extreme. Take someone who needs one every once and a while. Or take the guy that cut down the 65 foot tree in my front yard. His were printed on his home PC. It didn't deter me from hiring him.

    The graphics threads and even the copy writing thread everybody says "you must have quality". I don't think that is always true.
    I think for people who are constantly handing out cards, it's important to them.
    For people like me who are rarely even in the same room, let alone the same state as potential clients, websites and other online avenues are far more important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbscreative
    However, with the principle of "differentiation" being in the cardinal rules of marketing, using the same templates as millions of other people to create your materials is not a good way to stand out.
    I completely agree. I think templates can be a lower cost option, though you'll ultimately get better results with something custom and unique.

    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson
    The graphics threads and even the copy writing thread everybody says "you must have quality". I don't think that is always true.
    I think you should always strive to produce the best quality you can. That goes for every aspect of your life. No matter what you do you should always give it your best.

    That said quality is a subjective word. What's quality to you isn't necessarily quality to me and vice versa. You absolutely have to produce something that at least matches the minimum quality acceptable to your customers, though giving them more quality is going to be better. No one is going to complain if you give them something better than they expected. They will complain if you give them something less.

    The business choice comes down to how much does it cost for more quality. I don't think there's ever been a case where producing something of higher quality was seen as bad by customers (assuming other things remain equal). It's a matter of how much more it costs you to produce the extra quality and how much your customers are willing to spend on it.

    With that choice in mind most businesses aren't going to pay to produce the maximum quality they can, because at the top of the quality spectrum it starts costing more to get more quality than you'll likely be able to get back in return. At the other end of the spectrum it's the reverse. Add more quality into something that has none and the returns will far exceed any cost involved. No matter what you're business you're going to need to reach some minimum level of acceptable quality.

    2 last points.

    1. If you don't strive to produce the best you can, I think you give up the right to complain when someone else does the same.
    2. At present the most valuable company on the planet (Apple) has a core philosophy of always producing the highest quality it can.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    I completely agree. I think templates can be a lower cost option, though you'll ultimately get better results with something custom and unique.



    I think you should always strive to produce the best quality you can. That goes for every aspect of your life. No matter what you do you should always give it your best.

    That said quality is a subjective word. What's quality to you isn't necessarily quality to me and vice versa. You absolutely have to produce something that at least matches the minimum quality acceptable to your customers, though giving them more quality is going to be better. No one is going to complain if you give them something better than they expected. They will complain if you give them something less.

    The business choice comes down to how much does it cost for more quality. I don't think there's ever been a case where producing something of higher quality was seen as bad by customers (assuming other things remain equal). It's a matter of how much more it costs you to produce the extra quality and how much your customers are willing to spend on it.

    With that choice in mind most businesses aren't going to pay to produce the maximum quality they can, because at the top of the quality spectrum it starts costing more to get more quality than you'll likely be able to get back in return. At the other end of the spectrum it's the reverse. Add more quality into something that has none and the returns will far exceed any cost involved. No matter what you're business you're going to need to reach some minimum level of acceptable quality.

    2 last points.

    1. If you don't strive to produce the best you can, I think you give up the right to complain when someone else does the same.
    2. At present the most valuable company on the planet (Apple) has a core philosophy of always producing the highest quality it can.
    I essentially agree with you Steve. Where I differ is in someone like the guy that cut down my tree. My expectations were lower for him from a marketing perspective so his home made cards had no impact on hiring him. He was really good with a chain saw and bucket truck and that's what I needed.

    If I thought quality had no impact, I wouldn't have you rewriting my web site!

  7. #47
    Get In Where You Fit In Array Harold Mansfield's Avatar
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    Sometimes our expectations don't meet with reality. The people I expect to have the absolute best business cards are graphic designers.

    But there have been many other people over the years that I expected to have nice websites because they are professional in every other area, that didn't
    Doctors, Lawyers, and Real Estate agents come to mind. But they had nice cards.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 07-18-2012 at 10:35 PM.
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  8. #48
    Refugee from the .com Array cbscreative's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    My expectations were lower for him from a marketing perspective
    I completely agree with your perspective and even share it. We all have those areas where the priority level is low. For me, cutting down a tree is an ideal example. I had one removed a couple years ago and can't tell you what his marketing materials looked like because I didn't care at the time either. Plus, we met under ideal circumstances, so his materials were never an issue.

    With that in mind, the point comes through even stronger. In my case, I didn't care about the aesthetics of the card, but it still would have helped. To demonstrate why it still matters, I'm sure the tree services in your area aren't much different than they are in mine. The ones with nice trucks, good marketing, and attention to detail in their materials all seem to stay busy. The ones who figure no one cares play second fiddle to the ones who are better at marketing. Catering to people who don't care leaves you picking up

    Instead of relying on the fact that I will only do business with you if I don't care what your card looks like, the market proves you will do better if you assume that I do care and put the extra effort into making a card that reflects professionalism. Considering the cost of business cards, if that creates a hardship you have a serious problem. Let's suppose you invest $100 to get 1000 cards (many people consider anything over $20 to be a rip off). If you can't recover $100 many times over after handing out 1000 cards, then I would conclude that the business isn't worth doing.

    I myself am in a similar situation as eborg and hand out very few cards any more. I run them in very small batches because they last so long. But the principles of this thread still apply regardless of how many get handed out.

    There's another observation I made long ago that hasn't changed and is kind of amusing. The vast majority of people who don't believe the quality of card matters have never tried it. They go on assuming it won't make much difference. On the other side of the fence are people who do make sure their cards are nice. They keep right on "wasting their money" while the non believers assume it's all for ego.
    Steve Chittenden

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    In my example, the tree guy (self employed guy with one hired assistant) cut down a neighbors tree and did a good job. He gave me a good price; done deal. He's got a reputation and stays booked. So in a way its an unfair example. Now lets say he wants to hire and expand his busines, then quality business would be very important.

  10. #50
    Refugee from the .com Array cbscreative's Avatar
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    Agreed, the situation does sway the rules a bit for sure. And like you said, if he wanted to grow beyond his current situation, that does require stepping up.
    Steve Chittenden

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    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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