Individuality. . . uniqueness. . . Identification. “This above all: to thine own self be true. "
What do all of the above have in common? They all translate into the meaning of ‘identity’. Without it, we have no representation of our own characteristics or behaviour. Without it we remain nameless. Without it, we are in fact - lost.
In an age of increasing identity theft, its importance cannot be denied. Victims of this type of theft have lost parts of themselves that are difficult or which they may never be able to retrieve. The losses are much more substantial. They include loss of money; loss of good credit ratings and the most debilitating of them all; loss of one’s reputation. In the consequential aftermath of this crime, victims are denied loans; educational opportunities; and job offers. Some have even been arrested for crimes they didn’t commit.
It is much easier than most people realize, for fraudulent persons to access and steal one’s identity. MEL Research, in its ‘bin raidin’ project found that 77% of UK households discard sensitive financial documents, such as bank statements and utility bills, without first shredding them. Another report, with its research aimed at traveling executives, found that tons of personal financial information can be found on the desktops of airport lounge personal computers. These desktop-saved documents describe multi-million dollar deals, inclusive of profit margins and lowest bid values.
Credit and ATM card fraud is the most widespread of them all. They are also the most popular. With the increasing use of purchasing-via-the-internet, consumers put themselves and their money in a vulnerable position. Not all sites offer a ‘secure-shopping’ feature. More often than not, these are the ones that ‘capture’ and ‘re-use’ personal data. ATM fraud is not always easy to spot. Commercial banks should raise more awareness on how to identify (no pun intended) card slots that have been tampered with. These false slots are also used to ‘capture’ and ‘re-use’ an individual’s information.
Further to depleting a person’s monetary account, this type of information can also be used for kidnapping – where hefty balances can be seen.
The use of identity surrounds us in our daily lives. We have identifying usernames and passwords. We join groups that support of help us to seek our ethnic identity. Our modes of dressing are statements of who we are. Employees are mandated to wear ID cards.
The product and corporate branding of identity is no different. Nowadays, business cards are a point of entry for placing someone in an electronic database. You business name must gain your potential customer’s interest and trust (they can trust that your card is a true representation of yourself and your business). And yes, image is everything. Just as books are judged by their covers, so too can business people be judged by their cards.
Rondon – Identity -2-
‘Branding’ is one’s identity in the marketplace. It should been done properly. Business cards, Letterheads, Labels and Compliments slips should be treated as one ‘branding’ entity. What’s the use of having your business card in one design and all other supporting stationery in another? Consistency is the cornerstone of professionalism.
Because of the intricate emotional and societal issues that encircle the exchange of business cards, psychology and design are also co-related. There is always a tinge of anticipation when giving and receiving business cards. The giver hopes that his/her card will not be dismissed into the unseen depths of someone’s wallet (agh!!) or worse, thrown away (double agh!!). The receiver sees a person’s business card as the answer to their specific problem; the item or service that they had been seeking.
People are always more comfortable when they’re being themselves. They are also more trustworthy and their businesses more profitable. Shouldn’t your identity, then, be packaged just right?
Written for Goodprint Ltd, providors of instant online business cards and matching stationery via their website http://www.goodprint.co.uk