Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Amazing Calling Card Phenomenon

I'm a big fan of little papers - folded notes, correspondence cards, place cards - you name it. And there's one little paper that is taking the market by storm: Calling Cards.

Calling cards, or social cards, have been around for a long time. They were a staple of Victorian society, with very strict rules for their use. Here are some beauties from that era.

Calling cards hung around in the 20th century in certain spots around the country, and Crane always had a few samples in their stationery albums. That was until about seven or eight years ago, when we began seeing somewhat of a resugence as more and more of these little pieces of paper made their way though Crane's engraving facility.

Long story short: Crane started displaying more samples, more orders came in, more samples, more orders. Today, calling cards represent the fastest-growing sector of personalized stationery at Crane, accounting for fully half of the top 20 top-selling items.

So who's buying these pretty little pieces of paper? Although demand seems to be broadening all the time, here are some notable sectors.

Twenty-somethings. Think about it. These youngsters are mobile. Many move from place to place, job to job. They don't have a land line. You can't find them in a phone book. They have cell phones and e-mail addresses. They print all their appropriate contact information on calling cards and hand them out when "social networking," aka seeking interesting members of the opposite sex, or business networking when it's not appropriate to hand out your current business card. Calling cards are also a symbol of a certain adult status. They announce: "Here I am. I have arrived!"

Young couples with kids. Calling cards are perfect to hand out for play dates, car pooling for soccer games and for babysitters.

Retirees. These folks have worked all their lives, and have had business cards all their lives. Now they have a social life and have the same need to hand over their contact information for tennis games, golf matches, cocktails on the deck; whatever those lucky folks do with all their free time......

Here is a link to Crane's large and growing collection of these powerful little pieces of paper.

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