With so much online these days, the greeting card industry may seem doomed to the history books, BUT some say otherwise! According to a December 7, 2020, article in marie claire, author Maria Ricapito says that Millennials and Gen Z'ers are experiencing screen burnout and turning to the old tried-and-true analog paper cards to reach out to friends and family. Ricapito refers to greeting cards as a form of "anti-group-text."
While birthdays and holidays still capture a large share of the greeting card market, younger adults are embracing both non-conventional cards and non-conventional reasons to send them. They're looking for cards that speak to a range of issues, like post-partum depression, break-ups and divorce, career burnout, and the lighthearted/funny. They're looking for genuine and diverse cards, too. They want faces that look like theirs and messages that are fresh and modern. And if they can't find that, they're willing to make their own! But beware of tokenism that mimics these qualities, as they can be spotted from miles away.
This generation also seems willing to pay a premium for high-quality and interactive cards that are embellished with all sorts of materials. This is great news for boutiques and small shops that carry handcrafted cards. Card makers should also be encouraged to charge a fair price for their beautiful handmade items without feeling that they will simply sit on a shelf or in a shopping cart!
Even better, the chief marketing officer for Hallmark has stated that "eight out of 10 millennials keep the cards they're given because they are so important to them as capstones of a relationship." Anecdotally, many of my own recipients tell me later that they keep my handmade cards for a long time! That makes my heart so happy!
So, take heart, paper crafters! There will continue to be a great market for your lovingly-crafted cards and other paper items! Just keep it genuine and modern, and you should rise to the top. Isn't that marvelous?
Until next time, stay calm and craft on!