Challenges, problems, and triumphs
-- from a manufacturer's perspective.
How To Make the Scrapbook Pie Larger
"Keep it simple and non-threatening."
by Name Withheld (August 15, 2005)
(Note: CLN has been exchanging emails about scrapbooking
with a manufacturer about how to grow the category.)
Unfortunately I'm not sure there are many ways manufacturers can
play a part in that. One thing I have thought of is for
manufacturers to make more kits so that consumers can quickly and
easily "grab and go," saving time and also ensuring a
pleasing result at the end of the valuable time spent on this hobby.
(Unfortunately, however, word to us from retailers is that
currently kits are not very popular with their customers, so my
husband for one is not interested in making what they don't want to
buy. Ah, there we go again, the never ending cycle!)
I believe it is retailers who have the biggest role in attracting
new customers to the world of scrapbooking, and to their doors -
isn't that what any business should be spending part of the day
Some helpful components would be more classes for beginners, some
called "stress free" or "quick and easy" or some
other term that helps people feel it will be fun and painless. I
can't count the number of women I have personally spoken with who
are curious and interested in this "new hobby" and feel
they really "should" deal with all of those photos they
Rather than pursuing the newest "artsy" tool,
technique, or the trendiest brand, stores should be looking for ways
to simplify and instruct. The goal for retailers should be to
attract and embrace newbies, solve their scrapbook
"problems," and ease their insecurities about being
creative or "ever getting through that big pile of
Stores could run games, contests, or promotions to reward
regulars who bring in the most new customers within a given period
– or other similar strategies to spread the word.
Finally, scrapbooking needs more people like Stacy Julian. She is
the greatest preacher and cheerleader for the hobby that I have had
the pleasure of seeing in person. The magazine she founded, Simple
Scrapbooks, has positioned itself as the "gateway to
scrapbooking" because publishing powerhouse Primedia knows the
way to more add dollars for themselves is to increase that pie.
Stacy's philosophy, as I understand it, is "Keep it simple,
get it done, and live your life!" It is still the most
realistic, balanced approach to the hobby that I see out there. The
frenzied masses at the conventions can seem hokey, strange, or
downright scary to many people. Stacy's approach makes sense and has
the best chance of success at attracting newcomers.
Personally I believe scrapbooking will never go away, but the
plethora of inane products (printed twist ties anyone?) we enjoy
today may. Are they necessary for the hobby? Not really. Is
preserving your life experience for future generations important?
Yes, I think more so everyday.
Also, I believe the true success and endurance of this hobby lies
in its connection to photography and our collective love of
capturing and reviewing images. It was either this year or last that
digital camera sales finally outpaced sales of film cameras. The
digital revolution has arrived, bringing with it a new ease of
capturing images on a daily basis. This will only add to the growing
collections out there and offer more possibilities for marketing
storage, display, and storytelling products.
Witness some recent innovations in hard-bound digital photo books
and other products that can be ordered and arrive complete at your
doorstep. Paper, stickers, and glue sticks are only one way to
address this very large interest area. Retailers who embrace all of
these facets – photography, imaging services, product sales and
instruction, are poised for the future of scrapbooking.
(Note: To comment on this or any other industry subject,
email CLN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read previous "Vinny" columns, click on the titles in
the right-hand column.)