SOURCE: Unity Marketing

February 04, 2010 12:31 ET

Changing Demographics and Psychographics of the Greeting Card Market Reveal New Opportunities -- and Challenges -- for Card Marketers and Retailers

New Study of the Greeting Card and Stationery Market Finds Young Adults, Aged 25-to-34, Spend the Most in the Stationery Market, but They Are Also Looking for Alternatives to the Traditional Paper Cards; Social Media, Notably Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, Could Be the Future for This Generation to Send Greetings

STEVENS, PA--(Marketwire - February 4, 2010) - The prime market for stationery and greeting card marketers are young adults aged 25-to-34 years of age. Consumers in this age group spend 41 percent more than buyers aged 35-to-44 years, making these young adults the highest spending age group across all five stationery product categories included in a new study of the greeting card and stationery market from Unity Marketing.

But while over 80 percent of young adults, aged 25-to-34 years, purchased greeting cards in the past year and spent on average $85 on their card purchases, there is one category of greeting cards that they reject -- They are far less likely than consumers 35 years and older to send Christmas cards.

"While young adults show active participation in the greeting card market, they leave sending Christmas cards up to the 'old folks' -- their parents and grandparents," explains Pam Danziger of Unity Marketing, and author of the book, "Shopping: Why We Love it and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience." "These young people are the Facebook generation. They can use their social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to send out annual Christmas greetings to all their friends and family with the mere push of a button and at virtually no cost. If social media is taking over the annual Christmas greeting chore for young adults, it may not be long before they replace other occasions where they'd send traditional paper greeting cards with new social media applications. This would represent a huge blow to the greeting card industry, which depends on the high spending habits of this demographic segment."

Social media poses real and growing threat to greeting card industry

Stationery and greeting card marketers need to assess the threat to their industry that social media represents. Indeed, the research found a personality through psychographic segmentation that is distinguished by their desire to find an alternative to the traditional greeting card. Called the Alternative Seeker personality, they make up the largest share of the greeting card market and they are the fastest growing personality from 2007 to 2009.

Danziger explains, "Because the Alternative Seeker is the single largest of the four personality segments in the greeting card market and the fastest growing, it is these consumers who should keep traditional greeting card marketers and retailers awake nights trying to figure out how to meet their needs through innovative new ideas for communicating emotions to friends, relatives and others. Unity's latest research points to greeting card content as the key to keep the Alternative Seekers buying cards and not straying to social media. In the research study, marketers will gain insights into the themes, occasions and shopping environments that appeal most to these young, high spending consumers, so they can continue to be relevant to their lifestyles."

About Unity Marketing's latest "Greeting Card, Stationery, Gift Wrap and Party Goods and Paper Gifting Market Report"

The latest edition of the "Greeting Card, Stationery, Gift Wrap and Party Goods and Paper Gifting Market Report" is based upon a survey conducted in November 2009 among 1,436 recent category buyers. This study provides the latest market intelligence for marketers and retailers that compete in the $41 billion retail market for paper products and stationery goods. In other words, this study looks at the overall market for paper products that people use to communicate, to express oneself, to celebrate and to craft.

The new report is an important source of trend information for competitors in this category. The report compares the latest survey results with those conducted in 2007 and 2005. Throughout the study, the effects of the recession on the consumers active in this category are seen, as they change the products they buy, the amount they spend and the places where they shop. While the study measures the recession's impact, the report also allows marketers to get a view of what the stationery market will look like as the recession eases through this year and into 2011-2012. In this way the report becomes an important tool for market and strategic planning post-recession.

This report gives a comprehensive view of the paper goods market and includes the following product categories:

-- Greeting cards, specifically pre-printed greeting cards, note cards with non-preprinted greetings; boxed greeting or note cards; Christmas cards; pre-printed invitations, thank you cards; custom-printed cards, invitations, etc.;

-- Stationery, such as writing paper, social stationery, business stationery, specialty paper for stationery uses, special paper for computers including photograph printing from computer, decorated paper and/or cards, such as print-your-own cards or invitations, and/or full-sized 8 1/2 x 11 paper, print-your-own banners, including special papers for computer printing, etc.

-- Other Paper and Stationery Items, such as blank books and journals, decorative hanging calendars, date books, specialty pens and writing instruments, such as fountain pens, calligraphy supplies, desk accessories, etc.

-- Gifting and Party Supplies, such as paper gift wrap, gift bags, ribbons and bows, party ware and paper party supplies, etc.

-- Paper Crafting and Hobby Supplies, such as scrapbooking supplies and kits, make-your-own card supplies and kits, stamps and stamp supplies, stickers, photo albums, memory albums, like baby, wedding memory books, specialty paper

The objective of this study is to provide greeting card, social stationery and other stationery products, gift wrap and party goods and paper crafting product marketers and retailers insights about the consumer market for their products. The report focuses on market opportunities available to product manufacturers and retailers to help them deliver products and services that satisfy the consumers' craving for paper products to communicate, express oneself, celebrate and to craft.

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: What is the size of the overall stationery goods market, as well as the six key product segments (e.g. greeting cards, social stationery, custom-printed cards and stationery, gift wrap and party goods, paper crafting products and other stationery products) and how rapidly is it growing? How is the stationery goods market segmented by type of product?

-- Demographics of the Stationery Goods Market: What are the demographic characteristics of people who buy stationery goods products? How is stationery goods buying behavior influenced by demographic segments (e.g., gender, age, household income (HHI), size, composition, ethnicity/race, education, etc.)?

-- Stationery Goods Buying Behavior: What are the primary characteristics of the consumers' buying behavior related to stationery goods in general and the four product segments (e.g. greeting cards, social stationery, custom printed stationary and cards, gift wrap and party goods, paper crafting products and other stationery products) in particular? Why do they buy these goods and how do consumers' motivations different by product category segment? Where do they shop for the different types of stationery products; what factors influence their decision making; how much do they spend buying each of the stationery goods product segments and across the entire stationery goods category; what is the role of brand in stationery goods product selections and shopping choices? How do different demographic segments differ in their shopping and buying behavior?

-- Psychographic Profile and Segmentation of the Greeting Card Markets: A psychographic profile of the greeting card buyers is developed in this report. The profiles identify four different types or personalities of consumers of greeting card. These profiles identify different drives and motivations found among consumers in purchasing greeting cards; what factors are more or less important in driving greeting card purchasing decisions; and how can greeting card marketers and retailers better understand the hearts and minds of their consumers. In essence, we discover 'why people buy greeting cards.'

Click this link to learn more about the study, to review its table of contents, study methodology, brands included in the report and to order your copy.

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing

Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights, especially for marketers and retailers that sell luxury goods and experiences to the masses or the 'classes.' She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.

Advising such clients as PPR, Diageo, Google, Polo Ralph Lauren, Swarovski, Constellation Wines, Lenox, Swarovski, Luxottica, Orient-Express Hotels, Marie Claire magazine, The World Gold Council and The Conference Board, Danziger taps consumer psychology to help clients navigate and master the changing luxury consumer marketplace.

In recognition of her ground-breaking work in the luxury consumer market, Pam received the Global Luxury Award presented by Harper's Bazaar for top luxury industry achievers in 2007.

She is currently working on a new book, "Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury" to be published by Paramount Market Publishing later in 2010. ( 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).

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Pam Danziger