Christmas Cards: Who Is Sending Them This Year?
Who Is Sending Christmas Cards This Year? Fewer than Last Year
Marketers can expect a tough year in sales of cards as demand for greeting cards in general, and Christmas cards in particular, continues to dwindle.
Marketers need to find future direction and opportunity as cultural trends push consumers away from greeting cards -- Unity Marketing plans a new study of the greeting card, stationery and paper products market.
Stevens, PA December 7, 2011 - With less than three weeks before Christmas, how many holiday cards have you received in the mail this year? Fewer than last year, Unity Marketing predicts.
The market for greeting cards is a tough one in today's environment with consumers having so many faster, easier and in many cases cheaper ways to send a greeting. Times have gotten even tougher as a result of the recession, with many consumers looking to cut spending anywhere they can.
And now with the U.S.P.S. slowing the pace of first class mail and making 'snail mail' even less convenient, consumers are being encouraged - even driven - to alternatives to the traditional greeting card.
What is behind this declining demand for greeting cards? "Many cultural trends are afoot that are changing consumers' demand for greeting cards, but one thing is for certain. The business of selling traditional greeting cards is only going to get harder as consumers turn to newer, faster and better communications alternatives," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury.
"Consumers are demanding forms of communications that combine speed with individuality, which means that email, text messages, and social media may fit the bill better than traditional greeting cards. For marketers in the greeting card and stationery market, this spells a sea change in the way they plan and market their products. Understanding and embracing the change in the marketplace is the only way to stay afloat," Danziger says.
Unity Marketing plans a new study of the greeting card, stationery and paper products markets -- Sponsors are needed to guide and direct the research effort
When the door closes to one marketing opportunity, another door often opens up with new marketing opportunities for forward-thinking companies that respond positively to the inevitable changes on the horizon. That is what is happening in the broader landscape of stationery and paper hobby and crafting products.
Here are some key trends shaping the future of the market for greeting cards, stationery and paper products. These trends and more will be studied:
- Fewer people are sending Christmas cards anymore; but everybody wants fancy gift wrap and decorations: With the price of first-class mail going through the roof and the speed declining, fewer people are sending Christmas cards to all their friends. Yet they are spending more money on expensive, luxury gift wrapping paper and ribbons and paper decorations to enhance their family's holiday celebration.
- Shoppers turn to mass retailers for greeting cards and everything else: While Hallmark and other specialty gift and card stores are struggling to attract today's harried shopper, more shoppers are turning to mass retail outlets, grocery stores and other more convenient stores when they need to buy cards, stationery, decorations and paper crafts.
- More sophisticated shoppers want luxury stationery: Among today's more sophisticated shoppers, pre-printed greeting cards are just plain 'tacky.' These consumers prefer to send hand-written notes on exquisite stationery. It communicates the ambiance of an earlier time. Writing and receiving a beautiful hand-written note is the ultimate expression of luxury communications.
- Scrapbooking is the second most popular craft activity after drawing: The Craft and Hobby Association reports that scrapbooking and memory crafts are enjoyed by 18.4 million American households, second only to drawing which is a craft that 21.1 million households participate in. And what is scrapbooking all about? Die-cut paper, pre-printed pages, albums, stamps, stickers, and all kinds of other goodies you traditionally find in the stationery isle of the store.
Unity Marketing Is Undertaking a Major Consumer Research Study on Greeting Cards, Stationery and Paper Goods
Unity Marketing has designed a major new research study to give future vision to marketers and retailers of greeting cards, stationery and papers for crafting and hobby uses. The research will help that marketers identify and take advantage of the emerging opportunities within the category for consumers' shifting needs.
This research will give marketers and retailers with a NEED TO KNOW about the future of the greeting card, stationery and paper goods markets a cost-effective solution for customized consumer research.
Unity Marketing will conduct a quantitative consumer survey which will focus on both greeting card, stationery and paper goods buying behavior, including spending, as well as the motivations and drives that propel the consumer in the marketplace.
We will learn about both male and female buying patterns, as well as the different motivations that drive consumers in their quest for these goods. We will also explore the generational aspects of this market. We will learn how the younger and older consumers for paper goods differ in their product preferences and buying and shopping behavior.
Research Sponsors Guide and Direct the Research So that It Meets Their Specific Needs
In order to make sure that this new consumer research focuses on the issues of most importance to greeting card, stationery and paper goods marketers and retailers, Unity Marketing offers sponsorships to companies who want to be more involved in the research. As a research sponsor, your company will be involved in both the qualitative and quantitative research development. The research will be 'semi-custom' as company sponsors will contribute directly to the research. Here are the deliverables:
- Input on the questions included in the survey, including addition of questions
- Your company's major product category and/or type of store included in the survey
- Your company's brand name will be included in the brand awareness and purchase incidence questions
- Topline quantitative survey results with demographic cross-tabs within 1 week of survey fielding,
- Detailed analysis report
- Webinar and telephone consultation about key findings and implications.
Plus you will get an early read on the results of the research ahead of everybody else and insider information only available to sponsors.
Sponsors Get the Competitive Edge
As a sponsor, you'll participate in learning what drives the greeting card, stationery and paper goods buyer in shopping and product selection. You will discover how to tap into consumers' passion for these goods in order to design new products to meet new needs. You will learn how to sell more of your company's or store's products. You'll get a view 'over the horizon' about where the paper goods market is going and find out how to get out in front of the consumer.
Exclusive sponsorships are also available for marketers that want to maximize their competitive edge.
Respond Immediately -- Time Is Limited
Greeting Card, Stationery and Paper Crafting and Paper Product Research Sponsorship: est. $3,500-$5,000
[Sponsorship fee may vary depending upon total number of sponsors]
Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for marketers targeting the affluent consumer. She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992. Pam received the Global Luxury Award for top luxury industry achievers presented at the Global Luxury Forum in 2007 by Harper's Bazaar.
Pam gives luxury marketers "All Access" to the mind of the luxury consumer. She uses qualitative and quantitative market research to learn about their brand preferences, shopping habits, and attitudes about their luxury lifestyles, then turns these insights into actionable strategies for marketers to use to reach these high spending consumers. Unity Marketing is the voice of the luxury consumer for such clients as PPR, Diageo, Tempur-Pedic, Google, Swarovski, Constellation Wines, Luxottica, Orient-Express Hotels, Italian Trade Commission, Marie Claire magazine, The World Gold Council, and The Conference Board.
Pam's latest book is Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury: How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury (Paramount Market Publishing, 2011). Her other books include Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006; Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses˜as well as the Classes, (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior(Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).