The latest market research from Mintel made for interesting reading.
On the face of it, the headline takeaway that lots of young people are eschewing Christmas cards sounds like a bit of a downer.
But the point about quality over quantity is well made. This phenomenon is coming up time and time and again across various sectors – the fact that the tangible nature of a printed product, and the stand-out that can be achieved through the use of different types of paper and finish, are more appealing than ever in our screen-dominated world.
I carried out my own piece of market research on greetings cards on a visit to a Scribbler shop earlier this week. If you’re of a sensitive nature and not familiar with Scribbler, consider this a heads-up. Let me just say that the language on some of the card ranges it stocks is the polar opposite of Forever Friends.
Anyhow, I counted the number of people browsing in this one, fairly small shop. It was 16. To my regret I must say that I was probably the oldest person in there, and there was one other chap of a similar vintage. The rest of the shoppers were of a millennial bracket.
Earlier in the day I’d been in Paperchase, again, the customer demographic was dominated by young folk.
In Paperchase, I bought one (beautiful, embellished) card by A Winter’s Tail that cost £3.50 – nice job Windles, by the way.
In Scribbler I bought four cards and spent the best part of £15.
The most expensive Christmas card in my selection this year cost £4.00 and is a stand-out 3D shaped piece from the always wonderful Judy Lumley, (chapeau, Swallowtail Print). (NB. I realise these cards cost £3.50 online, I bought mine in Chelsea and therefore paid a King's Road surcharge.)
In this respect, I consider myself to be in wrinkly harmony with those sought-after smooth-skinned millennials. No, they won’t be buying the bumper boxes of 250 cheap Christmas cards that granny used to get, but they will spend considerable sums on printed items that are high-end in one way or another – be that edgy cards, or lush notebooks.
If there’s one key takeaway to be had from 2017, it is this: print has a unique ability create impact, to break through the digital clutter that dominates so much of everyday life.
We in the industry just need to be unashamedly loud and proud about that, as we champion the many and various powers of print.