The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

VistaPrint. Really? Really?

Are you committed to your business? If your card is from VistaPrint, you're not.

I was in a Borders book store looking through the business section.  In one of the more popular business books, I found a business card.  This is one of those "clever" marketing tactics that people pick up - God knows where.  Let's address this first.

If your marketing model depends upon leaving your business card in books, bathrooms or on gas pumps, STOPNOW.  It's stupid and unprofessional.

Now, onto the really fun part.  The card was for a Multi-Level Marketing company, but of course the name of the actual company wasn't on the card.  (There's another business red flag.  If you are told to withhold the name of your company when inviting people to meetings or making appointments, you need to change companies.)  It said, "Would $10,000 a month change your life? It changed mine" with a number for a recorded call.  Well, that's an enticing hook.  Money is always a great motivator.  And a recorded call is a low-barrier (non-threatening) way for people to learn more about something.  But here's where it gets good.

I flipped the card over and on the back was that lovely little line that you find on the back of way too many cards:  "Get Your Free Business Cards From VistaPrint."
Now, if someone is using free cards from VistaPrint, I suspect that they are not really making $10,000 a month.  In fact, I am going to suspect that they are too broke to buy cards. 

Business cards cost, on average, $25 - $50.  If you won't spend thirty bucks on business cards, what does that tell people about your commitment to your business?  The same goes for those cards you print up on your computer at home. 

What does your business card say about you and your commitment to your business?

Invest in quality business cards, printed on heavy stock and at the very least, spring for something a little extra on it - a color graphic, gold or silver detailing, embossing.  A little money goes a long way with business cards.  Don't be penny-wise and pound foolish on this one.

And that's the marketing word.

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5 comments

  • LocalShops1 Girl · 01/14/2010 at 7:46 am

    Great, great post!
    On related note, those bathroom stall advertising things? Ugh. Yes, you’ll have a captive audience, but is that the image you want for your company?

    On Vista Print, also agreed. If you can’t spend $30 on quality cards, you should hold off on printing them until you do. It’s better to tell someone you don’t have a card with you (and just write your info on piece of paper) than to give them a card that’s low-quality and/or has another company’s promo on the back. What I REALLY don’t understand is when I get these kinds of cards who are in the business of marketing/advertising/promotions/or anything image-related. If they can’t present a good image for themselves, why would I pay them to work on my image?

    (this applies to beauty services, too; not just business services)

  • Bonnie · 01/14/2010 at 2:46 pm

    I agree with you completely about VistaPrint. I’ve always thought it looked pretty unprofessional. Have to confess though, I’ve used a lot of computer printed cards. I do have a laser printer . . . any leniency for that?

  • Ron Borg · 01/18/2010 at 5:41 am

    Yea… it’s just like when you see a beat up old 1992 Dodge Caravan mini van and on the back window it says “Want to earn $10,000 per month? Ask me how! I have to laugh at those people.

  • Admin comment by barbarag · 01/31/2010 at 5:58 am

    Or the cars with all the dents with the bumper sticker that says “God is my co-pilot.” I am pretty sure God doesn’t want the credit for that.

  • Admin comment by barbarag · 01/31/2010 at 6:02 am

    I’ll use the print-yourself cards for quickie promotions, almost like a coupon. They come in handy when you run out. They’re also good to use when you are having a drawing for something — print up a bunch that asks for name, address, phone, email and website. People tend to fill in all the lines when the form is simple.

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