Clintons has launched its own FTSE Index – based on Feelings, Thoughts, Sentiment and Emotion – which tracks the nation’s mood through the sales of greeting cards.
The major research project initiated by Clintons shows how the nation’s emotional psyche reaches peaks and descends into troughs at different times of the year, reflected in the card buying patterns of the general public.
The Emotional Index tracks the sales of Clintons’ occasions greeting cards by sentiment from its 400 stores, plus its online sales. The cards were allocated into headings of Happiness, Excitement, Compassion, Sadness, Gratitude and Worry. Cards relating to specific events, such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries, or calendar events such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were not included in the study.
The core emotions were allocated to two groups, positive (gratitude, happiness and excitement) and negative (sadness, worry and compassion).
Looking at the data for the first batch of results (June 2016 – January 2017), it shows that emotions peaked around the summer, with happiness and gratitude reaching their highest points in July and August. Sadness dramatically peaked in January with the Christmas festivities out of the way and many people moving on from jobs.
Tim Fairs, vp marketing & eCommerce at Clintons, who has spearheaded this survey, summed up: “We like to think of it as our own FTSE index – Feelings, Thoughts, Sentiment and Emotion. It’s a way of judging the mood of the country and tracking that across the year. Following the dramatic series of world events last year, we wanted to find out how the nation was feeling, which is why we have decided to track the country’s emotional stock exchange.”
While Clintons is not positioning this survey as a ground-breaking psychology it nonetheless does have real merit and should garner some decent column inches in the press for Clintons and the greeting card sector as a whole.
As Tim points out: “Greeting cards reflect society in so many different ways – the words that are used on the cards, the colours and motifs that appear in the designs and most importantly, the sentiment and depth of feeling which has prompted the card’s purchase in the first place.”
He is in no doubt as to the positive role greeting cards continue to play in society in helping to reinforce relationships, aid happiness and stave off loneliness and sadness.
“Everybody’s quest is to be happy. And while we in the greeting card industry are not able to solve the world problems, we can and do at least help promote happiness. There is so much evidence to prove the direct correlation between happiness and relationships. You can have a bank account full of money, a great car in the garage, but unless you have a good network of friends and family, relationships with people that matter to you and you to them, you are unlikely to be truly happy,” he said, before bringing it into context. “Greeting cards are one of the few products that totally harness these relationships and in doing so help to encourage happiness.”
An in-depth article on developments at Clintons appears on the April edition of Progressive Greetings (published later this week).