Are you ‘just’ cool, or something more?

We’ve always put so much emphasis on ‘cool’ on being ‘cool’, remember back to high school? Heck, remember the iphone? But what really is ‘cool’?  Does it mean: Latest? Greatest? Fanciest?

Expanding on that to business cards – we also carry that obsession to business. Cards. Websites. Flyers.  Maybe it’s all about the flash.  But maybe, just maybe,  it’s more.

I’ve met, and follow, and interesting gentleman, Hugh Macleod, author of 2 interesting very tabbed books of mine – Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination and Ignore Everybody. Great titles, no? He is the man behind Gaping Void. He creates some interesting cartoons/artwork for business cards, and what I particularly like – he explains his thoughts behind the art.

His daily cubegrenade email titled: ‘My Biz  Card Rocks’:

Gaping Void Cubicle Grenade: My Biz Card Rocks

(image courtesy of Gaping Void and Hugh MacLeod)

made be think of all the versions of over-stylized, flashy business cards, as well as ones that fade into the background (and surprisingly, I remember some of them too because they were so bad). But who am I to judge? Nevertheless, he opened the emailed with:

With everyone’s attention fixated on the Internet we tend to forget that most business is still about face to face. If you fail at the moment you shake someone’s hand for the first time, the consequences can be dire

And closed it with:

You ….(want you’re a) card that tells the world what matters to you, what you stand for, and how YOU make a difference.  Business. Purpose. An Elegant Way to Transmit Your Ideas. Exactly.

Amen! To illustrate the point I am about to make, I was reminded of Lee Pound & Arvee Robinson’s Go For the Gold event, where Joel Bauer spoke.  He talked about the power of business cards (& image), so much so, that not only did he say he doesn’t give his cards out because his are SO valuable, he got people in the room to stand in line to pay $ to get it.  $100! REALLY!?! So sorry, if you were one of those people. (but secretly, don’t you wish you could have a card that people would PAY you to get?)

So what’s really IS YOUR point here Rae-Ann?

Great book titles, like flashy business cards, intensely graphic heavy websites, are all about the visual no? Most done under the guise of making/gettung you, the consumer, to LOOK, getting you to have interest, then getting you to buy, in those .06 seconds it has your eyeballs. Obviously about business right? Apple puts enough cool features at a high price, getting you hooked into the ‘idea’ of cool that you overlook the flaws, & bite the bullet on the high price. Now it created ‘value’ and ‘exclusivity’ (think: “what? You don’t have an iphone?” or “Or wow – look at all that does! I wish I could afford one!”).

Back to the simple business card, and the flashy website. The magic combination is enough visual appeal to make ‘them’ look, BUT presented with enough ‘story’ of YOU: why you, why your services, in a way that captures their mind to think: “I want that.  I want to him/her”. I want that person/product to make me cool, or more valuable.  Ultimately – to convey Value, Exclusivity, Information, Connection, Over-delivery.

Because at the end of the day, whether we are the person giving the card, or the one receiving it, ‘coolness’ is about gaining value about & for ourselves. We all want to feel we are of value.  So if you spend a little more time figuring out how to do that for your clients, customers, and audiences, you will bring it back to your self. Don’t be a ‘flash in the pan’.  Be Cool in a good way: Of Value, Of Service, and About Relevance.


Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “Are you ‘just’ cool, or something more?”

  1. Dave Cole
    December 14, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Telling stories is what it’s all about. So often the lead / prospect / connection leaves a face-to-face meeting with ONLY your card. If you want to leave a lasting impression with them, having a card that matches you, your brand, and your personality will amplify your story.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ps… I’ve seen Joel’s “biz card” bit… I was cracking up!