After September 11, 2001 Hallmark witnessed an increase of 5-7% in greeting card sales. After the largest attack on America, Americans were more than willing to support the “All American” card company. In response to the tragedy, Hallmark quickly created cards tailored to the event to fulfill the sorrows of the nation. This strategy also led to the donation of over $1 million to relief efforts, furthermore securing a deep bond with the American people. (Jackson)
The consumption of greeting cards is based off the sentimental emotion each card provokes and changes in meaning from person to person. Card companies such as Hallmark, have developed a responsive and sympatric business appearance to its customers. It is no wonder, the company generates over $4.1 billion in annual revenues. This company plays on the power of human emotion and is apparent from the aesthetics of cards to the commercials of family sharing memorable times together.
Greeting cards are a gauge of society and provide interpersonal communication between one another. In the year 2010, over 5 billion cards were produced, printed in over 30 languages and sold in over 100 different companies. This American company has delivered to a targeted audience far beyond its borders. (Cacioppo)
Hallmark digital is also a major factor in card consumption and makes up a majority of the companies sales. Together in alliance with Mailing Services of Pittsburg, over 250,000 cards can be produced and sent in a single day with over 99.9% on time delivery and accuracy. (Seybold Report) Hallmark has shown to keep up with its online demand, and has set the bar for card production, allowing consumers over 10,000 customizable products that can be delivered straight to the doorstep.
But it cannot do all this work alone. Consumers can easily and conveniently purchase cards from major retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, CVS, and other large corporations that all carry Hallmark products. Cards range from 50 cents to $10 creating a price point for ever consumer.
From an outside perspective, is the exploitation of emotion a legitimate business or is this another story of a manipulative corporation making billions? Hallmark may have fooled us with its message, but our consumption patterns play right into their hands.
Automated Workflow Delivers On-Demand Personalized Greeting Products for Hallmark
Digital. (2013). Seybold Report: Analyzing Publishing Technologies, 13(21),
Cacioppo, J. T., & Andersen, B. L. (1981). Greeting Cards as Data on Social Processes.
Basic & Applied Social Psychology, 2(2), 115-119.
Jackson, K. (2005). Psychological First Aid: The Hallmark Company, Greeting Cards,
and the Response to September 11. Journal Of American Culture, 28(1), 11-28.