Sensory Marketing in a Business Card



We think of print as primarily a visual medium and a challenge to use for sensory marketing. You generally can’t smell it, taste it, or hear it. But touch can come into play in many kinds of print media. Hence, you sometimes see the use of heavy or textured paper, varnished covers, raised ink, and other features that go beyond the merely visual.

One form of printed collateral that is designed to be touched is the business card. While the one-time ubiquitous business card seems to be in gradual decline due to electronic contact storage, one still finds creative and innovative cards.

From Russia With Touch

At a recent speaking engagement in Moscow, I ran across one approach to a business card I hadn’t seen before. It was printed on very heavy, board-like stock, but looked like a standard business card.

When you were handed the card, though, your fingers detected some kind of pattern on the bottom. With no corresponding pattern on the top, one had to flip the card over to see what was there.

In this case, it was an embossed brain. This was a fitting emblem for Oleg Klepikov, the Head of Center for Applied Neuroeconomics and Behavioral Research and the local chair for the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association.

What makes this card so clever is that unlike virtually every other embossed card, one can’t see the embossing from the top. So, it’s a surprise when, just by feel, you detect the pattern on the bottom of the card. The urge to turn it over to see what your fingers found is irresistible, and the large embossed brain is unexpected and adds to the surprise factor.

This is a card that will be noticed and looked at longer than most.

It might get retained longer, too. I’ve usually toss business cards after adding the names and info to my contacts. But, Oleg’s card is still hanging around my desk.

One can’t ask for a lot more from a business card.

Want some other clever business cards that will grab the attention of the people you meet? Here are a few fun compilations:

Have you encountered a business card that was unusual and innovative? Share it in a comment!

  1. Playa Paper says

    I enjoyed your article on the use of sensory marketing on a business card. I agree with you completely! I own an online stationery boutique and the feel and touch of my business card, the unique size I selected, and the eye-popping design I made are all paramount to marketing my shop. I spent a lot of time designing my business card, so that it drives people to want to send to send greeting cards. Thank you for the additional tips! – Vikki

  2. Tae Kim says

    Great read. I personally have an embossed business card in my chiropractic clinic. Since we redesigned our doctors’ cards, we are having difficult time replacing them — it seems like everyone’s taking one.. or even two for that matter! 🙂

  3. D says

    Love this idea! Would to find out where to get this business card template.

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