Leonel Pierre Merone, a male model whose work has him networking and exchanging contact information with dozens of people daily, has a problem with business cards.
“I think they are a little old-fashioned, as well as [overly] formal,” Merone notes. “People with business cards seem to be a little old-fashioned as well. I would rather be casual when meeting people because I think formality in business makes things awkward, especially in the beginning…the future generation will definitely be less inclined to use paper business cards. I think that business cards, especially paper ones, get lost in the shuffle.”
Hundreds of articles about this very topic have been written already, but we found that many were out of date. It’s time to again ask the question that is on every business owner and networking professional’s mind, especially during the busy holiday season: Are business cards dying out?
Are Business Cards Really Dying Out?
As more Millennials enter the workforce and begin making a name for themselves professionally, long-standing traditions and processes are beginning to find themselves in limbo.
The younger generation won’t waste time or money on processes and “rituals” they don’t see as contributing to their ROI, and increasingly, it looks like paper business cards are ending up in this generation’s discard pile.
Those who have been networking with the help of a sleekly designed business card for decades aren’t likely to change their tune, as business cards are meeting their needs and are something they’re used to. For many professionals, meeting another professional is an occasion to exchange business cards and tuck it away in your wallet.
Why we’re hanging on to business cards (for now)
While other contact information exchange methods exist – vCards, smartphone contact info transfers, even quickly scribbled phone numbers and business names on a scrap of paper – none seem to rival the professional and formal nature of a well-designed business card.
“When you smoothly reach into your suit pocket and swing out an aesthetically pleasing card in another person’s direction, it just feels and looks official.” – Are Business Cards a Thing of the Past? by FranNet
And that’s the sentiment in a nutshell – business cards look and feel official. They’re branded. They show that you really own a company and that you’re running it in a reasonably organized way (after all, designing and ordering business cards takes some amount of planning).
Business cards are on their way to something new
But as more Millennials enter the workforce, the use of business cards will continue to dive. What will take their place is impossible to know right now, although it’s almost certainly going to be some sort of digital method of information transfer.
Although that may feel more impersonal to veteran card exchangers, a generation that has grown up on the crest of the digital and technological wave we’re experiencing is likely to see paper business cards as too much of a hassle (not to mention that they add up to a lot of wasted paper).
What are your thoughts – are business cards really dying out, or is their use dropping for a brief period before picking up again? Is the Millennial generation going to embrace the paper business card, move to a new medium (metal or plastic cards) or abandon this method of contact information exchange entirely? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below!