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Passion for paper takes hold among young people


January 14, 2008
By Pulp & Paper Canada

Stevens, PA — It’s 2008 and instantaneous, digital communications is the norm. Cellular phones, text messaging, pe…

Stevens, PA — It’s 2008 and instantaneous, digital communications is the norm. Cellular phones, text messaging, personal data assistants, digital cameras, email and a whole host of new media are making paper-based greetings and communications obsolete. Yet while the whole world is going digital, the most technically-advanced adult consumers are making buying and using luxury papersomething that is hip and cool.
In a new study of the $37.4 billion stationery goods market, Unity Marketing found the most dynamic trend in the market for paper goods is a generational shift from older to younger consumers. A new survey among 1,200 recent stationery shoppers found that consumers aged 25-to-34 years were the biggest spending age segment on all things stationery.
“The generational shift in the market for stationery is bringing dramatic changes in the marketplace. Suddenly specialty retailers like Crane & Co. Paper Makers, Papyrus, Kate’s Paperie and Paperchase found in Borders stores nationwide are destination shops for young people to pursue their paper passion,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience.
One segment in the stationery market hasn’t enjoyed a new youth movement and that is traditional greeting cards. Danziger explains, “While stationery products have got youth appeal, greeting cards remain stuck with an aging consumer market. Middle-aged consumers (45 years and older) are the mainstay of greeting card marketers, which will mean real disruption in the future for those companies that are not attuned to the needs and desires of younger consumers.”
For example, greeting card marketers could make their products ‘hip’ if they offered more special-feature greeting cards that appeal to young consumers, 44 years and younger. These special feature cards include those made from recycled paper or ecologically-friendly inks, music chips, die-cuts/fold-outs and hand-made/hand-laid paper.
“Clearly the opportunity for greeting card producers is to leverage the passion that many young people express for specialty paper into new greeting card concepts that embrace a new, younger vibe,” Danziger concludes. “All one needs to do is watch college and high school aged youths today in their digitally-empowered lifestyles to realize that greeting cards designed for their grandmothers don’t have a place in these young people’s future. The traditional greeting card paradigm isn’t relevant to their lives anymore and greeting card marketers are well advised to look at the future with no blinders on. Unity’s new study of the stationery market can provide powerful guidance in the new trends taking hold in the market for paper goods.”

Source: Unity Marketing. For more information and details, please see www.unitymarketingonline.com

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