Business cards. Do you have one? How many do you hand out each year? Not as many as you’d like? When I did the full visual rebrand and completely over-hauled this website, I decided to look into the business card situation.
Did I really need a business card? That was my initial thought. Some people still like them. Some clients expect one and it can be pretty uncomfortable and unprofessional if you don’t happen to have one on you at the time. So, I concluded there was still a need for one.
Now, whilst I’m pretty fussy about my business cards, I’m no Patrick Bateman. I’m not going to go on a psychotic rampage over the use of Thermoflex print technology, but I did think maybe a business card these days could do more.
Moo.com had the answer.
I’ve used Moo in the past for my business cards so they were my first port of call. Square cards, mini cards, thicker cards, letterpress cards, cards made from recycled cotton t-shirts, gold foil, raised spot gloss – they offer a myriad of different options, but one new one really piqued my curiosity.
NFC Business Cards+.
Eh? Well, these are game-changing cards. What they enable you to do is tap your card against someone’s Near Field Commmunication (NFC) enabled iOS or Android mobile device and it will perform a specific Action. Like what? Well, you decide. It could be that it launches the web browser and immediately loads your home page (that’s what I set the action to be when I first took delivery of the cards). That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. You can also change the Action at any time by logging in to Moo.com and using the Manager Paper+ console.
The Action could be anything including triggering a digital business card that lets people call, message, video chat or save your contact details by simply tapping your card. It can share your website, portfolio, event invite, playlist or video. How about taking them to your app’s Google Play or Apple App Store page to download or immediately hooking someone in to all your social and professional profiles with just a single tap? There are hundreds of other weird and wonderful things Paper+ can do. Check out this video.
How does it do it? Paper+ technology is where an NFC chip is embedded into the business card. Each chip has the same ID as the rest of your cards and by signing in to Manage Paper+ you can then tell your cards precisely what you want them to do. I can even track how many times my Actions are triggered, so I can ascertain which actions are the most effective. Nifty huh?
The reaction I get from people when my cards trigger their Adnroid phones is one of surprise and incredulity. It certainly gives your business cards impact. I expect most people will have them soon, but for now, I’ll enjoy them whilst they’re still an impressive relatively new innovation.
Erm, what about iOS?
Now there’s the rub. Despite what Moo state on their website, they didn’t work on iPhones, which considering the industry I’m in, that’s a big blow. Gratis, Moo did a reprint as they thought it could have been a problem with the NFC chip. But it wasn’t. It transpires that they do work if everyone happens to have some obscure free NFC reader app already installed and launched on their iPhone. Apparently, it’s all down to Apple’s paranoia about security.
So, Moo have added the following line to their website “A free NFC reader app is required on iPhones” and I’ve 200 astounding business cards that will only amaze Android users. I’ve had some other non-NFC cards printed for iPhone users. Which is a pain.
The oldskool cards are lovely, though – Luxe extra thick 600gsm textured Mohawk Superfine uncoated card with rounded corners and a vivid Tiger Orange seam.
Actually, that did sound a bit American Psycho didn’t it?
Hide the knives.