Posts Tagged ‘holiday cards’

Holiday Cards for Business or Not

Monday, December 9, 2013

Festivus for the Rest of Us Holiday Cards

Sending out holiday cards at the end of the year has been a private tradition since the first card was sent out in 1843. It began with a lovely, hand illustrated card; sure that card was soon printed thousands of times and sold for a shilling each, but the sentiment was there. Since then, the greeting card industry has flourished and greeting cards can now be found for every conceivable holiday. But, while it’s nice to receive a card, any card, there’s always a little something extra to be said for the non-commercialized, custom made card.

Custom Holiday Cards

Sending holiday cards out among family and friends has always been a popular tradition, but more and more, large corporations and small businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. And, why not? Kindness Sells. We’ve all been touched by the holiday or birthday card sent from our dentist, am I right? You’re not about to change dentists after that. Well, the same goes for the massive corporation that sells ergonomic office chairs. If they can get in the holiday spirit of giving and send out a little festive greeting to their customers, those customers just might stay loyal and order more chairs.

Now, replace the generic commercial card with a unique custom card that truly represents that company and, wham!, that will definitely make an impact. I mean, there’s nothing cuter and more heartwarming than a handmade card from the fingers of your marker or paint covered five-year-old, but as far as hand-designed corporate cards go, there are ways to give your customers the warm fuzzies.

Why it Works

According to research done by Hallmark, 75 percent of the 1.5 billion people who send cards do so because they know it makes the recipient feel good. It doesn’t take someone with an MBA to understand that when customers feel good, they’ll be more likely to spend more and stay loyal to a specific brand or company. Companies caught on to this trend early and have since stepped up their game to connect on a more human level with their customers. Even in the age of e-cards, text greetings and every other electronic way of communicating, old fashioned paper cards still rank as the go-to holiday greeting.

But, not all paper cards are created equal. You can easily spend a buck a card for a large quantity at Vista Prints, but what are the chances that someone’s going to be so moved by that card that they keep it forever? Or even bother to show it to their friends or colleagues? Spend $5 on a personalized, custom card though and that person now has a treasured keepsake. Little personal touches like shiny or matte paper, foil stamping, an image that represents your unique personality or that of your business – these are the things that stand out.

Businesses Just Wanna Have Friends

Company business cards got their foot in the door thanks to the not-so-humble salesman. Where everyone else used holiday cards to reach out to family and friends, clever salespeople have always known that the more you keep yourself in front of a customer, the more likely they’ll spend their money with you instead of the other guy. And each year, they were proven right. Sending cards, free calenders and other holiday nick-knacks that tell a story about their business has been a sales staple for nearly as long as there has been a sales department.

Companies as a whole began to catch on to this trend and, beginning rather unofficially around the late 1970s, company themed holiday cards became increasingly popular. Year upon year, businesses saw a spike in sales, higher customer retention or a mix based, in part, on having sent out a simple holiday greeting card at the end of the year.

Now corporate business cards have become a big business in their own right. Companies can now choose from traditional cards meant to convey a more somber view of the holidays all the way to modern, hip and even irreverent cards meant to celebrate the holidays without taking themselves—or the season—too seriously. But the most impactful holiday card is the one designed by the business owner himself. This has made many companies feel a bit more human to customers which, in turn, gives these businesses the same result that has always topped their own Christmas Wish List—more sales and happier customers.

From Norman Rockwell to South Park – How the Holidays Grew Up

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Festivus Air Your Grievances Humorous Holiday Cards

The Christmas holiday season brings with it an amazing combination of tradition, spirituality and consumerism. No other holiday season is embraced by such a diverse cross section of the public and, as a result, controversy surrounding the holiday is bound to make local headlines during the season. Often, the grumbling has to do with how ‘adult’ Christmas has become. Traditionally, Christmas and the entire holiday season has been treated with a kind of childlike wonder. Card companies and retailers would play up the images of the ‘Good Old Days’ and most decorations and themes revolved around a Normal Rockwell kind of Americana. Families gathered around a golden brown turkey, children cuddled on a couch playing with toys, dogs lounging by a fire. But, as society has evolved so, too, has the way we think about these holidays. These views typically poked fun at the traditional scene and instead focused on themes of families fighting over the last drumstick, children wailing because their batteries have worn out already and dogs rifling through the holiday kitchen garbage in the middle of the night.

The Vision vs. The Reality

The truth is that this ability to embrace the holiday season with a ‘warts and all’ attitude can go a long way in making people feel better about their own crazy families. When cards, decorations and the like all focused on the idealized family holiday, it drove some revelers straight over the edge. But the 90s brought with it a relaxation of these ideals, a point driven home every year on the national scale with the popularity of family shows like Married with Children and Roseanne, which featured episodes focused on the family drama and stress associated with the entire holiday season.

The Cards You Might Not Send to Grandma

This relaxed and more open attitude can be seen in a variety of holiday decorations and shows but, by and large, the easiest way to see it is by checking out modern Christmas and Holiday cards. Initially, the market branched out simply to include other religious, spiritual or cultural holidays and, since then, has branched out even further. From Kwanzaa to Festivus, every conceivable holiday is now covered by a selection of greeting cards. On the other end of the spectrum, there are cards featuring rude and crude cartoons, scientific explanations to disprove Santa and, of course, a host of cards which celebrate the FUN in dysfunction.

This progression towards the inclusion of adult themed and more tongue in cheek holiday greetings work not to divide the holidays, but to actually bring them closer together. The winter holiday season appeals to a wide variety of people across social, religious and economic backgrounds. As a result, the things we all use to celebrate the holidays—from home decorations to greeting cards—have expanded to reflect everyone who celebrates the season in their own way. The wide array of new holiday cards also gives people the chance to really customize their own celebration of the holidays. After all, you might not send the South Park Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo card or the Festivus card to your Grandma, but it’ll do nicely for the best friend who sends out a card declaring ‘The Grinch Had it Right the First Time’.

Is it Wrong to Want a Yarmulke for Christmas?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Holiday greeting cards are often most closely associated with Christmas. While this may have been true in decades of the past, the fact is that now holiday cards come for just about any winter holiday or festival you can think of. With a range of options including both religious and pop-culture influence, there’s a holiday card for absolutely everyone.

The Perfect Holiday Card

There’s no denying a certain religious bent to many different holiday cards. From Hanukkah to Christmas with plenty of room for Kwanzaa, Diwali and other winter holidays. Although Christian and Jewish holidays may be well known, other religions hold end of the year celebrations. In order to reflect each of these holidays we offer a wide selection of card and letterpress designs which play on both the religious and cultural themes associated with them. These days of observance stretch beyond traditional organized religion and also play into cultural and even astronomical occurrences. Winter brings with it the Winter Solstice, which has been celebrated by ancient cultures and is still celebrated by people today.

But in order to remain truly modern and relevant, cards have also grown to encompass pop-culture holidays, including the infamous Festivus. Originally introduced on Seinfeld in 1997, the anti-holiday was adopted almost instantly by Seinfeld fans and has since grown into a worldwide movement. Card makers routinely offer special Festivus cards in spite of the holiday’s tongue in cheek rules regarding the trappings of typical holidays.

Show You Care with the Right Holiday Card

Holidays aside, cards have simply opened themselves up as a way to embrace the feeling of the entire holiday season. The holidays have come to mean more than any one specific day. As the calender begins to come to its end, we all get that urge to stop and move a little slower, to be a little nicer and to, in short, get into the holiday spirit, whatever that means to us personally. The holidays have expanded and evolved to be more inclusive and holiday greeting cards have followed suit. Even for those who simply want to celebrate the season as a whole, holiday cards have it covered. Cards that celebrate the season as whole make it even easier for people to stay in touch and the levity they bring to the season adds a bit of humor, which is welcomed anywhere.
Society has embraced Christmas as more than just a religious holiday. No other holiday enjoys the secular crossover Christmas does and, as a result, the entire holiday season takes on a warm and unifying glow. The end of the year brings out a surge of nostalgia in all of us and it’s natural to want to reach out and make contact with our family and friends. Luckily, holiday cards have evolved and adapted to meet the need while lightening the mood. So, get in the spirit and share your love of Yuletide Christmas Festival Sweater Day on December 22nd and Wren Day on the 26th, in addition to the more traditional holidays. (Insert your grandmother’s voice here…) Would it kill you to send a card?