Although Hallmark proclaims that 100% of cards and envelopes printed are made from certified sustainable or recycled materials, the real challenge lies ahead. How should Hallmark make further improvement on the environmental responsibility and in the fields of sustainability? Trees are a re-growing resource, but what is happening now is the effect of deforestation, the climate change. Climate change is one of the main environmental issues that are happening right now. How will Hallmark take this responsibility and help improve the climate change or at least reduce the effect of climate change? Hallmark stated in its homepage that one of its future goals is to seek new and sustainable ways to minimize its business impact on the environment. By 2015 Hallmark will strive to reduce energy and water use, as well as solid and other waste, by 25 %, and wants to significantly improve the recyclability of its products. One way to improve could be to switch to renewable and regenerative energies. Another thing we would like to see is besides educating its supplier, employees, and customers on environmental awareness how Hallmark will expand its social values to society.
To raise the loyalty-marketing bar, Walgreens collaborated with Hallmark to take personalized action on key customer insights and data. Through cross-functional and cross-company collaboration, their goal was to connect more deeply with Balance Rewards members within the greeting card category. Emily Miller, who was then Category Manager of greeting cards at Walgreens Retail Products, wanted to demonstrate her loyalty to these shoppers and ultimately create within them “loyalty beyond reason.”
Acting on the insights, knowledge and information contained within the data derived from loyalty programs and infusing those touchpoints with emotion serves in generating even higher levels of engagement among members. For Walgreens, the Hallmark greeting card was a logical fit, but the relevance of cards as a direct mail format in business-to-consumer has wider relevance for any category.
To create the Walgreens card, Miller worked with Hallmark Business Connections, Hallmark’s subsidiary created to build and strengthen relationships between companies and their customers through the use of greeting cards and gift cards. Their design and editorial teams paired up with Miller to concept the cards and allow her to express personal appreciation in an emotionally relevant, highly personalized way.
In working with other clients in retail, financial or health and wellness services, Hallmark Business Connections has developed cards for birthdays, apologies, congratulations and holidays—any touchpoint that can benefit from greater impact. Hallmark had proven the value of its greeting cards within a business application by delivering a substantial increase in direct mail response rates.
While the revenue results prove this campaign to be a success, the benefits go deeper. Creating an emotionally engaging, relevant experience for customers takes the combined efforts of cross-functional talent. From database analysis to developing creative and on through procurement, teams across two companies came together to problem solve as they sought to identify and understand loyalty shoppers in a data-rich, intelligent way. While Walgreens leveraged loyalty, targeting and logistics, Hallmark created and produced the greeting cards. But the open lines of communication didn’t stop at the Walgreens-Hallmark partnership. The relationships, good will and trust that Miller has established with Walgreens shoppers can’t be underestimated. Through the use of Hallmark cards and a rich point offer, Emily was able to thank shoppers and show how much she authentically cared—as a real person in a large company. By acknowledging, valuing and appreciating each Balance Rewards member as an individual, she opened up lines of communication with shoppers and reached her goal of creating “loyalty beyond reason.”
To make the greeting feel even more personally engaging, Emily asked Hallmark to reproduce her handwriting for use in the personal message, her signature and the addressing on the envelope. She requested physical stamps over metered or indicia and used her actual business return address. Each envelope bore the iconic Hallmark gold crown seal. At this point, the greeting card truly took on a me-to-you emotional relevance that was integral to making each shopper feel connected to Emily and ultimately inspired the many correspondences she received from the recipients in return.
Hallmark Business Connections continues to collaborate with Walgreens to find innovative ways to stay connected. Shoppers prefer to access information from a variety of mediums, each having their own preferred channel. The eCards sent to loyalty members who have no physical address on file are no less intimate. After an opening animation that digitally re-creates the same design and editorial assets as in
the paper greeting card, a video plays featuring Emily personally expressing her gratitude.
The Walgreens greeting card design showcased Hallmark’s artistry and Miller’s own style. Based in Kansas City, Hallmark Cards draws upon the originality of its approximately 500 artists, designers, stylists, writers, editors, web designers and photographers, along with a deep, rich archive collected from over 100 years of relationship-building product creation.
“I wish I could personally thank each and every one of them,” said Miller. To do this, she partnered with Hallmark to custom design a greeting card that included a relevant special offer for these valuable shoppers. What made this touchpoint successful was Miller’s authenticity and of the cards’ ability to let her truly express heartfelt appreciation, creating a meaningful and relevant experience—not only for the recipients but Miller as well.
There are three main reasons why I believe that Hallmark is a company with a great sense of ethical values. First of all, Hallmark has been caring out its social interests since a long time ago. For example, Hallmark has began recycle its wasted product in the 1940s, and started to use recycled paper in its products and packaging since the 1970s. Hallmark has long established a corporate-wide environmental conservation program in the 1990s, and continues to make progress.
Secondly, Hallmarks has a very clear understanding of the current position and specific steps in attaining its goals. Hallmark?s CSR program covered all ranges of ethical responsibility one can think of. For example Hallmark?s CSR covers responsibility for employers, employees, suppliers, customers, environment, community and more.
Last not the least, Hallmark has down-to-earth practices to serve social interest. Its social responsibility programs are very particles, it is not one of those hard to reach target. Step by step, Hallmark is trying reduced its waste, carbon footprint, and to give back to society by making donation from cards were sold, and plant trees. You will be amazed with all the social practice Hallmark has covered.
Hallmark has divided its Corporate Social Responsibility Programmed into 6 core areas, including Responsible Employer, Sustainability, Performance, Environment, Community, and Trading with Integrity.
The first challenge is to be a Responsible Employer. Hallmark aims to create a positive and safe culture. This means each individual is respected. Hallmark values everyone?s contribution with respect and trust, and provide fairly reward.
The second challenge is to ensure sustainability. Hallmark understands the importance of minimizing the damage to the environment and make use of the resources in a sustainable and respectful way. For example Hallmark uses, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and recycled products and minimize product packaging. Not only minimizing the damage to the environment Hallmarks also made some contribution to the environment by obtain woodlands and protect the plants and wildlife that reside there.
The third challenge is to ?ensure a financially stable environment for all Hallmark employees, customers and suppliers via successful and profitable trading performances.? Hallmark is constantly improving it self so that its customer can rely on Hallmark in delivering their thoughts and feelings, and to connect.
The fourth challenge is to protect environment. Because production of Hallmark products involved with natural resources, use of energy, waste and transport, it is Hallmark?s responsibility to reduce the waste/carbon that are produced. By doing so Hallmark is now using 95% of green electricity, and at least 70% of product waste is recycled. In the future Hallmark target to reduce energy use by 20% by 2011, carbon footprint by 20% and be fully carbon neutral by 2010, and more.
The fifth challenge is to initiate positive impacts on communities. Hallmark is eager to make a change on communities and charities. It has donated to two breast cancer charities in the UK and Ireland through the Mother?s day cards for a Cure TM campaign, allowed its employees to get a paid day leave per year to work as volunteers at any community event, and made donation from each card it sold (Christmas cards, Mother?s day cards etc) and more. Hallmark will continues to support and encourage its employees to lead community programs.
The sixth challenge is to ensure trading integrity. Hallmark choose suppliers carefully in hoping to develop long-term partnership. All suppliers have to comply with the Hallmark Supplier Code of Conduct or an internationally recognized ethical supply chain standard. Hallmark ensures its supplier meeting code of conduct by conducting a full audit regularly and its employees share same ethical values by share its ethical performance information.