Over the years, our society has become increasingly digital and email dependent. Whether we’re interacting in business or reconnecting with old friends, sometimes it can feel like we no longer cherish those face-to-face interactions. This has led many people to believe that the concept of business cards is dead. However, that’s far from the truth. The relevance of business cards in a social media driven world remain strong and directly impact how formal relationships are developed.

To better understand this importance, consider a few marketing statistics. The average sale tends to increase roughly 2.5% for every 2,000 cards that are passed out. i While that may not seem like a lot, every new relationship built from a business card adds up and the investment costs are relatively low. However, just handing someone a piece of paper with your name on it isn’t going to get you results. In fact, 39% of people won’t even think about doing business with you if your card looks cheap and 72% of people judge your company by your card. ii Business cards offer something that online relationships can’t. They’re a reminder of the personal relationships that you build face-to-face without the digital screen that distorts so many lives. You never know when you’re going to meet a potential client and many cultures still view cards as an important business etiquette.

To further stress the relevance of business cards in a social media world, consider one of Japan’s core rituals. In a custom known as meishi koukan (名刺交換), business cards are presented upon first meetings. After the initial introduction, bowing for respect, and the exchange of names, business cards are presented. In Japan, this is considered a formal introduction and is a way to indicate the beginning of a relationship. If you don’t have a business card available, business will not occur between the two people. The entire ceremony includes several etiquette rules that are followed to avoid disrespect, which is far different from how the exchange of business cards occurs in the U.S.

While this is a tradition in Japan, it’s not to say that similar situations don’t happen here. I previously worked with a Japanese construction and development company in Chicago and participated in meishi koukan. They were throwing an office opening reception and my client, their branch manager, gave me a briefing of the ceremony that would take place with their partners who flew in from corporate HQ in Japan for the event. It was an honor to participate in and gave me even more insight into the ongoing importance of business cards regardless of our increasingly digital world.

Japan believes that business cards are an extension of the person they represent and if you don’t have one available, you’re inconsequential. Regardless of where you do business or who you interact with, the relevance of business cards remains strong. Don’t put yourself in a position to become irrelevant—make sure that you have business cards available for all your networking and day-to-day interactions. You never know when you’re going to meet someone worth doing business with. Impact Color provides high quality printing for your business card designs that will leave an impression on whoever you meet.


i https://www.smallbusinessrainmaker.com/small-business-marketing-blog/are-business-cards-dead-or-are-they-still-relevant
ii Ibid.