Marketing to Women: The Future of the Valentine

February 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

What is the future of the Valentine?

According to the National Retail Federation‘s 2011 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, by BIGresearch, the average person will spend $116.21 on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise this year, up 11% over last year’s $103.00.

But what does that mean for the Valentine card?  Is it still the way to someone’s heart – or is it being replaced with e-cards, Facebook messages,a lovable text message or a personalized cupcake?  According to the Greeting Card Association, we will purchase 160 million cards this year, and that doesn’t include the pre-packaged Spiderman and Spongebob type that kids exchange.

Well, on Valentines (unlike Christmas), the card is many times the gift.  I guess that is why a tangible card that can be saved and treasured for the sentiment is somewhat immune to email, social media and mobile texting.  Approximate one in five card buyers say they give cards to provide a tangible keepsake, and one-third of us hold on to “special cards” forever.

While all Valentine spending has decreased during the recession, it seems that one of the bright spots in spending is the gift card.  We like our Valentines personal and our gift cards personalized to our favorite store.

Some 52% of consumers will be buying their beloved a valentine. And a hearts and flowers valentine with a special note in it is almost recession proof.  The average Valentine card this year will cost around $2.95.

Valentines have been around since the Middle Ages, but it was the aspiring American printer and artist Esther Howland that showed us in 1850 just how special a Valentine could be.  And we have been hooked ever since.

So, go ahead, buy some really sentimental lacy red and pink Valentines!  Or even make one yourself.   If you haven’t totally lost your handwriting skills, write a sweet, personalized expression of your love.  Deliver it by hand or mail.  Chances are it will end up in a keepsake box as undying proof of your boundless love.




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