You may know Lovepop from their intricate, handcrafted greeting cards with 3D paper sculptures becoming increasingly more prevalent in retail environments, or from their Shark Tank appearance, where they received investment from Kevin ‘Mr. Wonderful’ O’Leary. What you may not know, is how their company’s origin story has ignited a cultural movement of inspiring magical moments on a broad scale.
To truly know Lovepop is to know its beginnings—rooted in connection that still resides in the brand values today. The founders first met training to become naval architects, and then traveled together to Vietnam, where they were introduced to the art (and science) of handcrafted cards. They returned to the states to spread the greeting cards and became enthralled with the wonder-filled experience of watching someone open a card to reveal an intricate paper sculpture. If naval engineering paired with the Asian art form of sliceform kirigami created the product, pinpointing the connection created in this exact moment created the mission.
The conventional greeting card market tends to lean in to a one-size-fits-all model–either through mass-produced cards on a bright aisle of rows in the grocery store or an e-card selected and sent in seconds. In recent years, the maker movement has stepped in to honor the art of design with emerging artists featured in local boutiques or online markets. Lovepop, however, uniquely positioned their offering to be more purposeful than the mass market, but more scalable and less fragmented than the niche maker movement.
Lovepop cards also differentiate in that they express the message through art, but leave the words entirely up to the giver. After all, maybe the message remains the art itself, inviting the receiver to interpret the sculpture personally rather than prescriptively. With a blank slate, the cards are set up to stand the test of time as more of a display piece, than a card that gets tossed away once the occasion has passed.
The Lovepop mission: “Create one billion magical moments.”
But what is a magical moment? And how do you quantify that? Lovepop’s mission stands out because they identify ‘moments’ as connection points—and therefore count each card as facilitating two magical moments—one for the giver, one for the receiver. The giver either peruses and picks the card, and/ or gets to see or hear the receiver’s reaction upon opening it.
As a self-proclaimed “experience company” (vs. product company), Lovepop executes their brand essence internally, to generate a greater effect externally. With a clear mission that unites their team to rally around shared goals, the brand values come to life as internal cultural divisions of engineering, hunger, magic “(surprise!)” and connection. By staying firmly rooted in the authentic vision set forth by the founders, the team is able to propel forward to continuously innovate offerings to maintain relevance with consumers.
The cyclical nature of the touchpoint having a mutually beneficial effect generates thoughtfulness, positivity and connection that can be a rarity in our increasingly automated and digitized society. By incorporating advanced sensorial elements of sight and touch, the cards can bring back a sense of nostalgia—a pull to slow down and be more present to fully experience the gift of human connection.
So how can a brand cut through accepted norms in a mass-market to bring consumers back to the basics of appreciating intention? By finding differentiation that resonates with the audience through reframing a product to a broader idea. Whether your brand is creating experiences that generate a ripple effect of positivity, empowerment, care, humor, or otherwise, the golden thread lies in emotional resonance. In order to operationalize this ripple effect, it starts with a passionate team committed to living out your brand values internally, with a hunger to continue disrupting traditional dynamics.