American Greetings introduces Open This When
CLEVELAND American Greetings is adding a little extra thought to its traditional card lines.
Open This When takes the traditional greeting card that consumers know and love and enhances it by adding a note for later that continues the card’s overall theme, while also offering a thoughtful secondary message, American Greetings said.
“With the note for later, friends and family are given a second opportunity to enjoy the experience of opening a greeting card and reading a warm message that is just for them,” said Mary McClain, creative director, new product concepts, at American Greetings. “We’re very excited about this new product because it really transforms the typical greeting card experience to make it even more enjoyable, memorable and meaningful for both the sender and their recipient.”
Photo takes a stationery stance
Cards are a key area of opportunity in the photo department. Dimitrios Delis, director of marketing research at the Photo Marketing Association, said he believes on-demand stationery is a category waiting to explode. “Everybody buys stationery, from notepads to thank-you cards, and the mass market is an untapped market for on-demand products,” he said.
“Expanding the category makes a lot of sense,” Delis said. “Consumers can print as many pieces as they want. From a retailer standpoint, it frees up a lot of space they now devote to a huge card section.”
Bing Liem, VP sales for Fujifilm North American’s imaging division, saw opportunity for other occasions. “The possibilities for photo cards are endless; they aren’t just for holidays anymore,” he said. “It’s no wonder that industry sources predict compounded annual growth in the segment of roughly 17% over the next three years.”
Even if the photo-processing business grabs a small share of the $800 million greeting card/stationery business, it will be a huge gain for the photo-processing category. Liem didn’t believe photo cards would cannibalize existing stationery sales because card templates offered online and at the kiosk can include a wider variety of occasions than can be inventoried. The trick is to bring in kiosks that are capable of offering the selection consumers are used to with and without photo options on the cards. Up until now, kiosks have been limited to a slim selection of holiday cards.
“Kodak Picture Kiosks offer more than 296 designs that present the consumer with 1,200 choices depending on the card size and card orientation,” said a representative for Kodak. “Consumers can use a Kodak kiosk to grab in-the-moment action images from HD video, download shared images from social media sites and scan older photos from prints.”
Vendors like Cameostyle offer consumers such options as thank you notes, birth announcements, home renovation completed and graduation cards. Card styles aren’t limited to those that include a photo.
Drug stores are emerging as a preferred location for photo card printing, Liem said, with 33% of all cards produced in the channel. Online ordering with same-day pickup in-store will be crucial to continued success.
Staying dry, technically
GILBERT, Ariz. —Consumers with a wet cell phone can avert disaster with a new product from HPL. The Dry-All wet cellular phone emergency kit dries out wet cell phones in 48 hours using the company’s dehumidifying technology. Consumers unzip the Dry-All bag, place the wet cell phone inside, zip up the bag and wait 48 hours. Aime Gutierrez, director of sales and marketing for Dry-All, said the product has a “great success rate.”
HPL, which manufactures molecular dehumidifiers, developed the technology to protect moisture-sensitive military equipment. The product also has been used for daily moisture removal from hearing aids, and now is being used to dry out wet electronic items, such as iPods and cell phones.
The kit retails for $9.99 and has been available online. The company is looking to expand distribution to mass outlets.