When families and friends gather for the holidays, cameras and smartphones capture the fun in stills and videos day and night, sunshine or shade. What happens to all those images? Marketing-savvy photo retailers can motivate customers to turn their special times into gifts and keepsakes that stick around long after the year-end holidays have passed.
If you’re looking for ways to prolong that holiday sales uptick, one or more of the following personalized photo products may catch the imagination of your customers.
Beyond Photo Books
Few items are as ideally suited to presenting and preserving holiday memories as photo books. Readily available in the marketplace from many manufacturers in a range of papers stocks, covers, sizes, page quantities and price points, photo books can easily become a post-holiday tradition that everyone looks forward to slowly paging through each year. Most photo retailers offer a mix of photo books to suit their varied clientele.
Mpix (mpix.com) offers a variation on the photo book theme with their accordion mini photo book. Accordion minis have 12 customizable panels printed on Signature or 100% recycled paper, with art cloth fabric covers in vibrant colors and a concealed magnet for soft closure. “Customers can create memorable mini photo books from holiday photos by choosing from exclusive designs for all special occasions,” says Paul Rotter, director of Marketing Communications.
To showcase CDs and DVDs filled with stills and video images, many companies offer artistic editing services and attractive portfolios with photos printed on the outside. You can also offer your customers high-quality covers to store books and boxed photo collections.
The Mpix Thumbprint photo box is a versatile solution for storing, showcasing and sharing holiday or everyday prints year-round. Made of maple wood, the photo box holds 4×4-inch prints (10 mounted or 50 unmounted) and comes with four easels. “The slide-top box enables customers to keep holiday memories close year-round on any desktop, mantle or coffee table,” adds Rotter.
White House Custom Colour, or WHCC (whcc.com), offers numerous presentation options, such as fabric and leather covers for books, albums and CD/DVD cases, theme designs and fabric bags to store books and boxed photo collections (mounted and unmounted). Says Lacey Lewis, WHCC marketing specialist, “Designed in a variety of silk, linen and cotton fabrics in a range of colors and patterns, our Boutique Bag makes a great first impression and protects the product inside from scratches and scuffs.”
Small to medium-size mounted prints are ideal for display on stands. WHCC customers may opt for a series of special prints mounted and presented in a box or individual unmounted prints that can be stored in an attractive package until they’re shared or used for other memory products, like frames and scrapbooks.
Personalized Photo Products
Holiday photos can also be transformed into a multitude of personalized memory products and gifts.
Fullerton Photographics (fullertonphoto.com) designs photo products such as garden flags and mugs with winter sports or everyday photos—e.g., kids playing outdoors, building a snowman or snowboarding—that can extend their use through winter into spring.
Customers who didn’t send holiday cards during the preholiday crush may be inspired to create Happy New Year and/or thank you cards for family and friends. “Cards decorated with their favorite holiday images, winter scenes or everyday life are ideal greetings for that post-holiday time,” says Gaby Mullinax, president of Fullerton Photographics.
Zazzle (zazzle.com) recently added lunch boxes and blankets to its lineup of personalized photo products. “It’s amazing the sorts of textures and materials and fabrics that can be customized,” says Diana Adair, Zazzle’s director of Communications. “The 50% polyester/50% cotton, 54×38-inch personalized throw can be customized with photos or images of any kind for years of holiday or winter memories. Our dishwasher-safe, BPA-free, melamine plastic lunch box, with several containers that fit easily inside, can be customized with holiday Instagram photos or any images our customers desire.”
Photo jewelry has become one of the hottest gift items year round. Several companies offer photo jewelry for children and adults, from reasonably priced to more high-end options. Do-it-yourself photo lockets have been growing in craft stores, as have “found” items added to necklaces with lockets.
PhotoScribe (photoscribe.com) offers gold, silver and stainless steel jewelry, including their popular gold and silver pendants. Says PhotoScribe’s vice president, Carol Dounn, “Our patented PhotoScribe product is a unique, one-of-a-kind gift that’s made to last. We take great pride in our jewelry and are honored to help in the creation of a family heirloom.”
The sterling silver round classic pendant with 1-inch diameter is available laser engraved or with color enamel. The classic gold oval pendant, .75×1 inch, available in 14k yellow or white gold or sterling silver, comes laser engraved or with color enamel.
Kimbra Studios (kimbrastudios.com), an e-commerce company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, has created high-end photo jewelry since 1998, when founder Kimbra Orr spotted a locket she liked but wished it could show her photos. Says Orr, “Our charm designs are created to be passed down over time, to be treasured, because great memories should be showcased not tucked away.”
Her Evalina photo necklace, with a sparkling, solid sterling 18-inch chain and 1/2-inch cubic zirconia round photo charm, keeps holiday portraits of loved ones close at heart. The Photo Tassel keychain, one of her most popular new designs, features two photographs on a double-sided design. A favorite with moms on the go, the waterproof photo charm with genuine leather tassel is ideal for holiday portraits.
Kimbra donates photo jewelry to Operation: Love ReUnited, a nonprofit, volunteer organization that provides professional photography sessions to military families; and donates professional portraits to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, for parents suffering the loss of a baby.
With a bit of in-store and online marketing ingenuity, savvy photo retailers will inspire customers to extend the life of the their favorite holiday photos while generating additional post-holiday revenue.