Continuing its hefty programme of commitment to independent retailers, UK Greetings has relaunched its Thinking of You brand. UK Greetings originally launched the Thinking of You (TOY) range back in 2014, but it has now completely overhauled this main range tailoring the collection to take on board the shifts in tastes and expectations of the consumers who are likely to shop at an independent card shop. The range has just been launched to the UKG salesforce, with delivery into retailers geared up for January 2018. A brand new POS kit, which champions TOY’s independent exclusivity, has also been developed and will be available once the new plans roll out in early 2018.
The brand’s anewed thrust – crystalised in the potent 139 design portfolio, across 12 different looks – is based on consumer insights from the company’s extensive research into the public’s buying habits which drill down to what those who prefer to shop at an independent retailer like to find in a greeting card, not just the design style, but the boldness of caption, size of the card, thickness of board used, format and price point.
“We have spoken to more than 40,000 consumers over the past three years, through quantitative research, monitoring the engagement of greeting cards consumers or through focus groups to really understand their greeting card preferences. Through these methods we realised we needed to focus more on cards directly targeting consumers who like to buy their cards at an independent retailer,” commented Lois Holcroft, UKG’s director of product management and consumer insight.
While accepting that independent card shops are a diverse bunch, UKG’s research has highlighted that more than two thirds of their shoppers are over 60 years of age.
As Lois explains, this consumer group “places a high importance on buying the ‘perfect card’ with the words and messages being particularly important” with this age group favouring more traditional styles than any other generational group – nearly a third select traditional designs when making their greeting card selections, according to UKG’s research.
The range also reflects the slight shift in buying habits between men and women.
“Men are slightly more likely to buy traditional product, women are more likely to receive traditional cards, so we incorporated this factor into our design and editorial directions,” reveals Lois. “Men are also more likely to be loyal to the independent card shop – making up a higher proportion of those who say they buy the majority of their cards there,” she adds.
In addition to ensuring the design styles and editorial of the new designs in the TOY range chime with the customer base, great consideration has also been given to format, substrate and price point.
“A crucial element to the value perception of a card is the quality of the board – hence the reason why Thinking of You cards use premium board,” explains Jill Alexander, marketing communications director of UKG.
The majority of the TOY designs are code 55 (RRP £1.99), 149mm x 229mm in size, with an insert and enhanced by finishes such as glitters and foiling.
A collection of juvenile designs also form part of the new TOY offering, but these have a lower RRP of £1.45.
The range is complemented by 27 new Gibson designs at code 50, (RRP £1.89).
“This means that a total 166 new designs have been added below the all important £2.00 price point,” Jill adds.
The diversity of art styles in the TOY range include contemporary figurative, watercolour, florals, photographic, male still life, graphical and vintage collage.