Lindsey Roy is no stranger to the greeting card business – she was named one of the youngest vice presidents in Hallmark Greetings’ more than 100-year history. Now serving as the Chief Marketing Officer for Greetings, Lindsey Roy oversees all marketing, product development, innovation and digital commercialization for Hallmark.
Roy started at Hallmark as an assistant 20 years ago, working her way up to product manager and later vice president. She believes in the company’s authentic leadership and brand position.
“Hallmark’s vision of creating a more emotionally connected world resonates with me more today than ever, and it has kept me in this industry and at Hallmark throughout the years,” she said.
What trends have you seen emerge in the greeting card industry over the last few years?
What we’re seeing is that people are looking to Hallmark and to greeting cards as a way to inject some positivity into the world and their lives. Despite more ways to reach out and stay in touch, many people feel less connected, and we believe that cards have the power to change that – and our consumer research is confirming this insight.
We know that 90% of consumers believe a card can brighten someone’s day and feel that a card is a good way to let someone know they are special, and eight in 10 consumers say they save the cards they get. People of all ages and generations appreciate the tactile experience, the handwritten signature, the keepsake that a card can become. In fact, one of the fastest growing segments in the greeting card category is cards that lend themselves to becoming a keepsake.
What are some of the challenges facing the greeting card industry today?
Like many industries, the evolution of digital and social media has disrupted the greeting card industry, but there are a lot of misconceptions about how much impact digital communication actually has had on greeting cards.
One thing that’s unique about the greeting card industry is that card use is driven more by life stage – when people get married, form households, have babies – than by age. Today, many millennials now fall into those life stages. In fact, millennials today represent nearly 20% of the dollars spent on greeting cards and are growing their spending faster than any other generational segment in the category. There is a place for digital and social communication, but there’s something about a card that just does more. Because digital communication (text, social posts, email) is such a common, everyday occurrence, a card stands out as an even more meaningful way to say something on purpose. Giving a card goes beyond checking a box – it helps express the emotion that keeps us connected.
It seems as if printed/embellished greeting cards have made a comeback in the marketplace. Why do you believe that happened?
I think what it comes down to is that cards can do some pretty amazing things – they have the power to bring us closer, make us happier, rekindle relationships and bridge the miles between us to keep our most important relationships strong. When someone experiences the power of a card firsthand, it drives them to want to continue sending and receiving cards.
How has the greeting card industry fought off the onset of email cards and the internet?
This never really took off the way people thought it might. At Hallmark, we don’t even track e-card sending anymore because it is so miniscule.
What are your predictions for the industry in the next five years?
I anticipate that we’ll continue to see people turning to cards as a way to connect with others in a way that goes beyond a quick text or social post. People consistently tell us about the power of cards in their lives – we often hear people share personal stories about how cards have helped them mend relationships or keep a relationship strong over the miles or years, and it’s common for millennials to tell us about how they keep their cards because they are such important artifacts in their lives.
My hope in particular is that more and more people experience the power of cards in their everyday lives – those little moments that add up to a big life story, such as taking a minute to tell someone you appreciate them, you’re grateful for them, you’re there for them.
I’d encourage everyone to give cards a try to see for themselves. In fact, to help people get started, we will be offering Free Card Fridays again this summer at all Hallmark Gold Crown stores where all new and existing Crown Rewards members can get a free Just Because card of their choice. There are no strings attached and no purchase required to get a free card – we just want to be there to help people take the time to celebrate life’s little moments and support each other during the tough times. Go ahead, see what a card can do.