January 6, 2014 • Sarah Schwartz
Say Yes to this Press
For more than 70 years, Kleinfeld Bridal has been a must-visit dress destination for brides, many of whom travel great distances to visit the Manhattan salon. More recently, its setting as the locale for the TLC hit “Say Yes to the Dress” has only increased its reputation and popularity.
Now the brand has made a logical foray into bridal invitation suites — plus papers that commemorate all the good occasions that may follow a wedding, from holiday cards to birth announcements. Explained Paul Wainman, president, Kleinfeld Paper, “Brides instantly recognize and trust the Kleinfeld brand, and paper was an obvious extension of the brand.”
Stationery Trends interviewed Wainman to learn more about this most fashionable brand extension.
ST: Just as a bride looks to Kleinfeld for the perfect dress at her ideal price point, now Kleinfeld Paper offers the perfect invitation suite to suit the event. How did the company achieve this lofty goal in an entirely new medium?
PW: Kleinfeld partnered with another trusted family business (with) more than a quarter of a century of print and fulfillment expertise to bring the Kleinfeld Paper brand to life. The partnership focuses on the keys to the Kleinfeld brand — being accessible to a wide range of brands with a variety of design themes, fabrics and price points while at the same time delivering quality of product and world-renowned service.
This brand vision translated into paper by offering a wide range of designers, print processes, papers and price points. In addition the 100 percent quality guarantee, state-of-the-art technology and dedicated service ensure that the products are delivered to retail and their customers in the Kleinfeld way.
ST: Can you give a few examples of how bridal fashions translate into paper?
PW: Firstly our designers understand the Kleinfeld brand essence and then create designs based on traditional themes and current trends in both fabric and color to appeal to a wide range of brides. (For) example, Lace Applique incorporates classic lace into a die-cut shape combined with fonts both traditional and modern. When printed with raised ink on pearlescent paper, the texture of the lace is available to the touch.
ST: Your stationery selections encompass holiday cards and birth announcements. While the paper line was just unveiled, do you foresee your brides returning for future paper needs?
PW: Currently Kleinfeld Paper is very focused on the wedding category, however we truly believe that the Kleinfeld brand can transcend categories and appeal to a wide range of consumers’ needs. Generally, the wedding invitation is the first major personalized paper purchase that a bride-to-be makes, however we believe that they then become a lifelong fan of personalized paper, and we will have products that satisfy these needs, be it holiday cards, birth announcements or personal stationery.
ST: How long did this line to take to develop and design?
PW: Initially the line was developed for the online consumer, and the site launched in early 2013 after about six months development. When I joined the company as a consultant in April, we quickly engaged in a retail strategy and previewed the line at the National Stationery Show in May. Since then we have been further developing the line and new products that culminated in the launch of our first wedding collection to retailers in October.
ST: How many albums are currently available?
PW: The Wedding Collection is a four-album set: three product albums (Classic, Modern and Romantic) and a details album (fonts, colors, papers, liners, layers, bellybands, pockets, monograms, pricing and so on). We also have a Holiday Collection available that is one album.
ST: How is the line merchandised at Kleinfeld Bridal? Are you finding that bridal clients will select a dress and invitation at the same time?
PW: Kleinfeld Paper has a dedicated meeting place and display within the Manhattan (store) where invitation consultants interact with all the brides who visit. They make brides aware of Kleinfeld Paper and show them invitation samples. They also provide details of where (brides) can purchase the invitations, either by returning for an in-store consultation or directing them to the website to find a local retailer.
Generally speaking, when the bride is visiting Kleinfeld Bridal, she is very focused on her gown, but when waiting for her appointment will interact with the invitation consultants. Many return for a consultation or visit the website to learn more and find a retailer nearer to them. The invitation does not necessarily play off the dress selected, however (it) often sets the tone of the event. (As such, it) reflects the theme and colors of the event itself.
ST: How often will the line be updated?
PW: We expect to add new products to the line on a regular basis.
ST: Kleinfeld Paper has a blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as 58 Pinterest boards. What role has social media played in getting the word out to brides and in interacting with potential and existing clients?
PW: We believe that social media is a critical component of an overall digital marketing strategy. It is vital that brands interact with their consumers at all times to learn their needs and what trends are taking hold. We firmly believe that social media marketing needs to be about helping and informing the bride (rather than direct selling of products), building trust in the brand and its expertise in the wedding category.
ST: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Stationery Trends readers?
PW: We’re excited to (showcase our products in) Stationery Trends magazine and with the wonderful retailers that read it. Kleinfeld Paper is dedicated to building a lasting and trusted wedding brand. This will be achieved by producing quality products that appeal to a wide range of consumers and partnering with our retailers by providing them with the tools to promote our brand — including in-store marketing materials, online ordering tools and excellent customer service.