CONTENT IS KING
When it comes to greeting cards, no other attribute—whether it be
price, brand, environmental concerns or even imagery—matters
nearly as much to consumers as its verse and sentiment.
With that in mind, it is not surprising that the number of card-giving occasions seems to be growing, according to industry insiders.
“Consumers, especially Millennials, are finding new opportu-
nities to give cards,” says Stacey Howe, GM of national accounts at
Hallmark. “For example, bridesmaid proposals are becoming a pop-
ular occasion to give a card. Additionally, the ‘just because’ category
is growing among younger card senders.”
With the important Millennial consumer base invested in the
greeting card category, now is the time for grocers to get more
involved in diversifying selections, curating collections and ensuring
that their offerings make the grade, say observers.
“Consumers see paper cards–whether it is a traditional Mother’s
Day greeting, a birthday card featuring exciting innovation, or anything in between–as one of the most deeply meaningful ways of
expressing themselves,” says Megan Baucco, associate manager marketing communications at Cleveland-based American Greetings.
PREMIUM FOR SENTIMENTAL VALUE
The sentimental value placed on greeting cards today make them
keepsakes in the mind of many consumers—and Millennials aren’t
the only ones that cherish handwritten expression, says Design
“As aging Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers become more reflective on
their lives and the emotional bonds they have created between themselves and among their peers, it is now evident that passing down how
important traditional written expression through pen and ink is, as it
uniquely influenced their lives.” he says. “As technology advances at a
fascinating pace we have seen the power in the emotional connection
that greeting cards provide combining nostalgic personal messaging
and its ability to enhance relationships in a sentimental manner.”
CLICK TO CARD
WHILE THE INITIAL REACTION
of most may be that the evolution of Facebook and other social
media channels would negatively
affect the greeting cards category
by giving consumers another means
of sending a birthday wish, in fact the
opposite has proven to be true.
Digital is not having the negative effect
on the greeting cards industry that some
might have predicted. Megan Baucco, associate
manager marketing communications at Cleveland-based American Greetings says that consumers are using
social media to complement traditional greeting cards,
not replace them.
“Social media has elevated the ‘birthday occasion’
as people acknowledge more birthdays now than ever
before,” says Stacey Howe, VP, general manager of
national accounts, Hallmark Cards, based in Kansas City,
Mo. “Facebook has not replaced the sentiment of a card,
but in fact elevated the number of connections people
have with each other.”
While it is nice to receive a birthday message on
Facebook, manufacturers will do all they can to ensure
that paperless-greetings never become the norm. “Most
consumers agree that a digital message can never replace
how special you feel when you receive a card from some-
one you love,” Howe adds.
Social media has also helped card companies refine
their messages for the proper audiences. Phil Cowley,
chief marketing officer for Design Design based in Grand
Rapids, Mich., says that social channel analytics have
helped the company drive art style and voice characteristics of messaging to more closely alight with consumers’
needs, when they are buying cards and for whom.
“The lifestyle of today’s consumer places time
demands on them so it is important for us to help them
quickly find the messaging that speaks for them in more
meaningful ways that deepen relationships between
them and their family and friends,” he adds.