Tried and true, versus something new?

This week I posted a question on Twitter asking which has more impact: business cards or lapel pins? The response was pretty evenly divided, with half of folks sticking with the tried and true business card and half considering the unique qualities of the lapel pins. It came down to a few important factors like brand awareness versus personal contact information, which is more important, which is worth the money, where you should splurge and where you should save. It was an overall very interesting debate stemming from a seemingly innocuous question.

One side was clearly concerned with making sure they were accessible to the people they approached. Business cards provide contact information in an easy to carry package, with phone numbers, email, and even mailing addresses right there for customers. They’re inexpensive and that means you can hand out a lot to a lot of people without feeling the need to be stingy. They’re tried and true.

But how many times have you lost a business card handed to you at a party or business lunch? How easy is it to forget a tiny piece of cardboard? And in the digital age, many clients now just upload information directly onto their phones, saving the need for business cards, sparing the environment and money. But you still want to exchange something, leave an impression with your potential clients. Which is where lapel pins make their case. They’re unique, can fully and succinctly represent your brand, and are less likely to get lost because of their purpose (pin it to your lapel and it goes where you go) and their higher perceived value. Clients who receive a pin feel like you went one step past the typical method.

At the end of the day though, with the combined tradition of a business card and the unique quality of the lapel pin, it’s a wonder more people don’t just pin lapel pins to their business cards and hand them out as pairs. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

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