Three Print Insights from We Can Do Hard Things
Popular podcast champions print in multiple ways
Recently, I have been pleasantly surprised to hear multiple print references during my favorite podcast, We Can Do Hard Things, which is hosted by author Glennon Doyle and her sister Amanda Doyle. I think each represents something different and interesting about the demand and opportunity for print.
Why Should You Care About This Podcast’s Perspectives on Print?
According to Triton Digital’s most recent podcast report, We Can Do Hard Things was the 38th most popular podcast in the United States in September. There’s reason to believe this relatively new podcast will only increase in popularity, given the success of Glennon Doyle’s books as well as the status of her regular guest, retired soccer star Abby Wambach (who also happens to be Doyle’s wife).
Best-Selling Success of Untamed
Admittedly, I haven’t yet read Glennon Doyle’s most recent best-selling book, Untamed—but given my love for We Can Do Hard Things, as well as the various times she has incorporated elements of the book into the podcast, I will be doing so soon. Doyle’s creativity, vulnerability, and personal insights about overcoming difficult times have clearly helped the book publishing industry during the pandemic.
The book sold more than 68,000 copies in its first week, and it has sold over two million copies worldwide. This factored into the overall 8.2% increase in unit sales of print books by major retailers in the United States from 2019 to 2020 (according to NPD BookScan) as well as the 18.5% jump in units during the first six months of 2021 (compared to the year-ago period). Indeed, people have not only been home more and had more time to read, but they’ve craved information and meaning during an uncertain time.
Growth in the print book market is expected to continue. Within the United States, Keypoint Intelligence is estimating print volume for books to increase at a 9.1% CAGR through 2025 thanks (in part) to authors like Doyle who engage readers in an entertaining and thought-provoking way. Another expectation is growth in the onshoring of book production, or moving of book production from countries like China back to the United States, as a result of supply chain challenges.
Promotion of Stamps.com
Another element of print integrated into the podcast is the promotion of Stamps.com during commercial breaks. Within multiple episodes, I’ve heard Glennon Doyle speak about the convenience of being able to print postage and shipping labels at home. Here’s a portion of the content of the most recent commercial I heard:
Whether you’re selling online, or running an office or side hustle, Stamps.com can save you so much time, money, and stress during the holidays. It gives you access to all the post office and UPS shipping services you need, without taking the trip, and get discounts you can’t find anywhere else like up to 40% off USPS rates and 76% off UPS. If you spend more than a few minutes a week dealing with mail and shipping, Stamps.com is a lifesaver.
This got me thinking that home-based postage and label printing could further boost the sale of home/SOHO printers and associated supplies. In our recent Future of Office Survey, 29% of respondents work from home (at least some of the time) but don’t print—representing an untapped customer category for print vendors and Stamps.com.
US Worker Types by Work Location and Whether They Print at Home
|The Future of Office Survey – US Edition: COVID and the Hybrid Workforce of Tomorrow
(Keypoint Intelligence, 2021)
Print as Something Sacred
In a recent podcast episode about the different stages of love, Glennon Doyle and Wambach discussed when they knew they had fallen in love with one another. For Doyle, it was when she received a package in the mail from Wambach—filled with the scent of Wambach’s cologne, a t-shirt, and get this…stacks of printed paper! Check out this excerpt from the episode:
Abby Wambach: Two reams
Glennon Doyle: Two reams of paper. And it was every single email that we’d ever sent each other, which was wild that it was that thick already, by the way. I mean, we used to write to each other for hours and hours and hours, but you had printed out every single email, stacked them with a thing. And then, I don’t know if you remember this baby, but you had tied it with this precious colorful twine.
Wambach went on to describe the “holy” nature of the e-mail communications and their now printed and delicately packaged form, while Doyle remembered the gift was something that felt like love to her.
Wow. If two reams of printed computer paper can serve as the turning point in a romantic relationship, maybe there’s more to print’s power than many of us realize.
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
A podcast might not be the first place to hear and think about print, but the reality is that print is all around us—in places we may least expect it. It’s up to print creators and vendors to uncover the many different ways that print may be used to delight and simplify life for customers.
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