Tradition of Sending Christmas Cards Still Going Strong, a New Unity Marketing Survey Finds

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Though the overall share of consumers who send holiday greetings has been on a steady course since 2008, the types of cards people will send and receive are likely to be quite different this year. In the holiday greeting card, market there is growing demand for customized holiday cards where the sender uses their own photo and software tools provided by companies such as Shutterfly to create a totally personalized greeting card.

Pamela N. Danziger, Unity Marketing

There still is a viable market for Christmas and holiday greeting cards, but the types of cards in demand have changed dramatically with young consumers in particular choosing to make their own cards using tools provided by online websites.

Think Christmas cards are a dead tradition? Think again, says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead researcher in a new study of the greeting card market. In the latest survey among greeting card customers, two-thirds reported sending holiday greetings last year, which is statistically even with results found in a similar survey done in 2008. Further, over 80 percent of those surveyed in 2013 expect to send the same number of Christmas cards this year, with only six percent saying they will send fewer cards.

“Though the overall share of consumers who send holiday greetings has been on a steady course since 2008, the types of cards people will send and receive are likely to be quite different this year,” Danziger says. “What’s really changed in the holiday greeting card market is growing demand for customized holiday cards where the sender uses their own photo and software tools provided by companies such as Shutterfly to create a totally personalized greeting card. Young people in particular gravitate toward the customized holiday card market, while the more mature consumers tend to stick with the traditional boxed cards.”

This new study from Unity Marketing gives an in-depth look at the tradition of holiday greetings. In addition, the report includes a section focused on the trend in customized greeting cards. Custom-printed cards are benefiting from emerging internet vendors that offer online design and custom printing services, as well as the growth in digital photography., and are the top marketers in this category, based upon the survey results. And because this represents an opportunity for rapid growth, there are also many emerging competitors.

Danziger therefore advises new companies to study the competition carefully and find a unique and strategic competitive advantage in order to compete more effectively with established competitors. In addition, retailers that have traditionally offered film processing services are also getting into the custom-printing business. So drug stores, mass merchants and grocery stores are all vying for their share of the custom-printing greeting card business.

“Through the research, we found that the sales of individual, preprinted greeting cards dropped sharply, while those of custom greetings rose by an even greater share. Many consumers still believe in the value of a greeting card, but they want those greetings to be directly from their heart, not featuring generic art work and second-rate poetry. They want a very special and personalized card not available on the racks at the Wal-Mart,” Danziger concludes.

More about the new study of the greeting card market

Unity Marketing has taken the results of a new 2013 survey among greeting card customers and compiled it with two previous surveys from 2007 and 2009 to provide a comprehensive view of the greeting card market. The Greeting Card Market 2013 report includes market size, including key segments of the greeting card market such as individual cards, boxed cards and customized greetings. It also studies trends in the channels of distribution as customers turn to new types of stores in which to buy greetings. It tracks historic trends in customers' preferences for different types of cards, different themes, different formats, and special features, such as musical enhancements, ecologically-friendly inks and papers. This study also examines the four different personalities of greeting card customers and shares how marketers and retailers can maximize sales to each specific type of customers.
Three versions suited to each marketers' need and budget are available:

  •     Do-it-yourself – A topline survey cross tab report is available. This report details all survey answers by 500 recent greeting card buyers. Answers are cross tabulated by gender, age and income to let you find opportunities among core segments in the greeting card market. You get the results and do your own analysis -- $125
  •     Dig deeper – The Snapshot Greeting Card Market Summary Report summarizes the results of the latest survey read by Unity Marketing's lead researcher, Pam Danziger. Throughout the snapshot report, key findings are called out with take action recommendations to make the research actionable for marketers, product designers and retailers. This report with its focus on the most recent survey results is appropriate for those who don’t need the industry numbers or historical analysis. -- $500
  •     Get a comprehensive overview of the greeting card market – The Greeting Card Market Report, 2013: The Ultimate Marketer's Guide to the Greeting Card Market contains a comprehensive view of the greeting card market sizing, channels of distribution, and historical trends. A subscription to this report includes delivery of the survey cross tab report and the snapshot summary report, as well. -- $1,995
  •     Understand your brand’s position in the greeting card market – The latest survey provides a baseline for the general greeting card consumer. Unity Marketing can conduct a customized study of your customers and target customers to help you assess your unique market position and find opportunities for growth and expansion for your brand. Call Pam Danziger at 717-336-1600 or email pam(at)unitymarketingonline(dot)com to discuss your needs.

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing

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 2007 Global Luxury Award for top luxury industry achievers presented at the Global Luxury Forum by Harper's Bazaar. Luxury Daily named Pam to its list of "Women to Watch in 2013."

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.

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).

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