For decades, Hallmark’s slogan has been “when you care enough to send the very best.” They have positioned themselves as the gold (crown) standard in greeting cards – offering premium products that feature artwork and sentiments that have no rivals.

I am a Platinum member of Hallmark’s Gold Crown Club (meaning I buy a lot of cards) and I can attest that the price may be high, but the quality always matches it.

So imagine my surprise when I went into the Dollar Store and found that they now carry the Hallmark line – offering branded Hallmark cards either 2 for $1 or at the one-dollar price point. They also carry Hallmark notecards and invitations.

I am as happy as the next person to save money, but I was also saddened at how they have cheapened not just their price, but their entire brand. No longer does Hallmark have the same cache when people know you may have paid 50 cents for a greeting. Obviously, the elaborate, 3-D or embossed cards aren’t available at the Dollar Store, so Hallmark loses some of the features that made the cards special and diminishes its overall product line.

You can strive for the high end of the market and compete on quality or the low end where you compete on price, but it is next to impossible to do both. The Gold Crown today feels like it is on Humpty Dumpty instead of the throne.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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