The client: Gift Card & Voucher Association (GCVA) – UK trade body and membership association for gift cards (retailers/service providers).
The brief: To write a special edition gifting report. Research, interviewing members to gather quotes and material. I’ve been working with the GCVA since 2016 and have enjoyed contributing to the growth of the business and seeing the brand grow. I do internal comms – newsletters, subscription comms, e-shots, social media management, & cover events.
Results: The GCVA now has 94 members, an extensive events programme, a healthy turnover and we’ve increased the profile of gift cards in the UK press and c-suite. Next up: international expansion.
Research is essential to help us understand the market we operate within, especially increased comprehension of our customers and their buying habits, ensuring we as an industry are developing the products and services they want. It is also important that we understand how and what our members are doing to respond to market changes and audience needs, as well as sharing best practice and innovation. Research is a key part of the new UKGCVA strategy, starting with digital engagement and accompanied by the first UKGCVA special edition newsletter.
Our aim is to carry out three pieces of research a year. The next one is a large State of the Nation study, helping develop a complete 360 understanding of our universe, including gift card managers, consumers and the boardroom. The findings will be presented at the UKGCVA Conference 2017 on March 1. We will continue to ensure that we are focusing on the topics and areas of special interest to our members, helping position the industry as a vital component in the B2C & B2B gifting environment. Begin with the end in mind is the first principle of the superb book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ from author Stephen Covey.
Almost immediately after launching, the plastic gift card created a material improvement in the end-user experience of the traditional voucher. They are far superior to the previously preferred paper voucher, they look terrific, they are easily stored and retrieved, they generate anticipation of enjoyment, and they are easy as pie to use at the point of purchase. The dots may not all have been connected at the time but there’s no doubt the physical gift card transformed what was previously a substandard paper experience for all parties and the result has been significant industry growth worldwide. Can digital raise the bar again? This new UKGCVA research shows that the buyer and recipient resistance level to plastic and digital gift cards has never been lower and new innovations in digital propositions must have every chance of succeeding. But, the Millennial generation will be merciless with sub-standard products as the digital bar has been set so high by the cream of the crop in Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, et al.
Full report available to members at www.ukgcva.co.uk.