A Passion for Paper Is Taking Hold Among Young People
The market for luxury paper is skewing toward young consumers, while middle-aged and older consumers remain the prime market for greeting cards
It's 2008 and instantaneous, digital communications is the norm. Cellular phones, text messaging, personal data assistants, digital cameras, email and a whole host of new media are making paper-based greetings and communications obsolete. Yet while the whole world is going digital, the most technically-advanced adult consumers are turning buying and using luxury paper into something that is hip and cool.
In a new study of the $37.4 billion stationery goods market, Unity Marketing found the most dynamic trend in the market for paper goods is a generational shift from older to younger consumers. A new survey among 1,200 recent stationery shoppers found that consumers aged 25-to-34 years were the biggest spending age segment on all things stationery.
The generational shift in the market for stationery is bringing dramatic changes in the marketplace. Suddenly specialty retailers like Crane & Co. Paper Makers, Papyrus, Kate's Paperie and Paperchase found in Borders stores nationwide are destination shops for young people to pursue their paper passion," said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience.
One segment in the stationery market hasn't enjoyed a new youth movement and that is traditional greeting cards. Danziger explains, "While stationery products have got youth appeal, greeting cards remain stuck with an aging consumer market. Middle-aged consumers (45 years and older) are the mainstay of greeting card marketers, which will mean real disruption in the future for those companies that are not attuned to the needs and desires of younger consumers."
For example, greeting card marketers could make their products 'hip' if they offered more special-feature greeting cards that appeal to young consumers, 44 years and younger. These special feature cards include those made from recycled paper or ecologically-friendly inks, music chips, die-cuts/fold-outs and hand-made/hand-laid paper.
"Clearly the opportunity for greeting card producers is to leverage the passion that many young people express for specialty luxury paper into new greeting card concepts that embrace a new, younger vibe," Danziger concludes. "All one needs to do is watch college and high school aged youths today in their digitally-empowered lifestyles to realize that greeting cards designed for their grandmothers don’t have a place in these young people's future. The traditional greeting card paradigm isn’t relevant to their lives anymore and greeting card marketers are well advised to look at the future with no blinders on. Unity's new study of the stationery market can provide powerful guidance in the new trends taking hold in the market for luxury paper goods."
About the Greeting Card, Stationery, Gift Wrap & Party Goods, and Paper Crafting Report, 2007: The Ultimate Guide to the Stationery Market
This report examines the $37.4 billion stationery industry. It provides the latest statistics on the growth and sales in the stationery market, including details by channel of distribution and product category.
Based upon both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, the study reports findings from the latest in-depth survey of 1,205 recent stationery buyers (65 percent female/35 percent male; average age 41.9 years; average household income $63,600) and compares it with the results of a similar survey conducted in 2005.
Product categories included in the study are:
- Greeting cards, both those sold individually and in boxed sets;
- Paper crafts and crafting, including scrapbooking and make-your-own cards;
- Social stationery, notably specialty paper for writing, computer printing;
- Gifting and Party Goods, such as gift wrap and bags and other gifting supplies, paper party goods;
- Other stationery, including calendars, date books, blank books, desk accessories, albums; and
- Custom-printed card and stationery for personal use.
With a focus on consumers, their buying behavior, needs, desires and preferences, this research study includes research data and statistics about:
- Stationery Goods Market Size and Growth
- Demographics of the Stationery Goods Market
- Stationery Goods Buying Behavior
- Psychographic Profile and Segmentation of the Greeting Card Markets
Special Features in Greeting Card, Stationery, Gift Wrap and Party Goods and Paper Crafting Report, 2007
Also included in this report are:
- Brand preferences in luxury greeting card, stationery products and retailers.
- Powerful guidance for retailers and marketers in pricing of different stationery products, based upon research findings of what the majority of consumers are paying today when they make their purchases.
- Six Marketing Opportunities that will mean greater success for companies and retailers that develop strategies to take advantage of these emerging opportunities.
- Eight research-based Business Building Tactics to help stationery and greeting card marketers and retailers grow a more vibrant business.