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  • Название: Developping Philately in India
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AMDP Moscow May 2011
La Poste
Our experience with
the business of stamps in France

Presented by

A specific activity
• Philately is a small sized but profitable business for
most post offices.
• Philately is a sensitive activity with political
• Philately faces a special contradiction : it is a
specific business based on collectors ( products)
included in a global business organizing
exchanges of physical objects (mail)


Strategy : a positive image generator

Generally speaking stamp is a positive image contributor

Even if people write less letters or don’t collect, they are interested
in new issues and are looking for “beautiful stamps” for their
personal letters.

Stamps can promote sports events, place of interests, local prides

Stamps are the window of the country that issues them

And now stamps begins to be a tool of identification like fashion for


A potentially high margin business
• People buy a service they don’t use or buy a most
expensive service than the one they really need to
put on the mail the stamp they choose.
• Traditional philately is by far the most profitable
business of the post offices,

• People who aren’t collectors also keep stamps as
souvenirs and thus add to this margin : it’s one of
our biggest business today


But :
• The decline of writing (emails, mobile phones…)
• The competition from other hobbies with a younger
image (electronic games)
• New customers habits : decline of traditional philately
(subscription), new customers habits (thematic
collection,souvenirs, ready to collect products)


Our strategy :

Reshape and modernise the brand image

Keep traditional philatelists, conquer new customers

Make people buy stamps not only for collection but also for their
personal / professional mails

Adapt our products to new customers habits

Adapt our selling strategy to new customers habits
People are not waiting for our products
Philately must be marketed : the first innovation in Philately is
marketing !


Stamp design
• All designs in France are subcontracted : we have
made a choice of diversity therefore each issue is
tended to a different artist. It is more costly but
provides us with a variety of styles
• Design takes into account the specific taste for
intaglio printing
• Design follows marketing guidelines such as the
self adhesive, number of stamps per sheet,
maximising conservation rate, innovation, special
event ….

Role of Market research
• Market research is now considered mandatory for all stages
of product fabrication starting with the definition of the
philatelic program (Stamp feast, Personalities, Youth series,
France discovery series...).
• Research Budget in 2010 was US$ 1 M. A important part is
spent on conservation rate analysis

• The market researches showed us, for instance, that we
need new products for new collectors


« La France comme j’aime »
• This is our new product for the years 2009 / 2012

• It is the heart of our stamps production :
– 2 Thematic booklets (one for the north and one for the south): in
2009 : plants of France
– « collects products » for each regions ( 24 products)

• Thematic booklets :
– 12 auto adhesive stamps permanent validity for a 20g letter for
– 15 pages of information
– 7 pages of plays and specific knowledge on plants


« La France comme j’aime »


« La France comme j’aime »
• Stamps Collect sheets : on the basis of
Montimbramoi (our brand for personalized stamps)
we create “collectors”
– Visuals for each region
– Only sold in the post offices of the regions
– All the collection is sold on the web shop with a special offer


Measure of customer satisfaction
• Customer satisfaction is measured every other year by an
outside institute. We measure the general public and the
collectors in separate market research
• The yearly vote also enable us to focus more specifically on
design. We ask the general public as well as collectors to
elect the best stamp, the best mini-sheet, the best
cancellation mark


Measure of customer satisfaction

• Our studies show that the foremost demands from each
customer are consideration for him, care given to his order,
and quality of information. They have also shown that needs
are different between collectors and the general public.
• Our customers analysis show that we have more or less
between 15 and 25% of commemorative stamps conserved
by customers, even for self adhesive stamps. It also shows
that this rate of conservation has a top level in number of
stamps conserved.


Innovations in products
• Books : La Poste has established a collection of yearly books
as well as special events books. This enables customer to
share easily their taste for stamps with non collectors.
• Since 2006 we try to make one innovation in product per
year. In 2007 it was a lenticular stamp about rugby
championship! In 2008 we made the new Marianne in silver,
and also a “thermo stamps booklets” for birth. We took the
same idea last year to make a stamp on football in silver!


Innovations in products

In 2009 we made
the « chocolate
booklet » (with the
smell of chocolate
and won the best
helio printing stamp
innovation price


Innovations in products
And we also made ASTERIX !

Specific shapes and dimensions

Face value in euros and « sesterces »,
the ancient « gaule » currency

Stone powder by serigraphy

micro text

Product line
• Segmenting the philatelic program to meet
customer segments such as : specific stamps for
collectors (intaglio, philatelic exhibitions), tourism
series, modern art collectors, cartoons collectors,
young mothers…

• Creating new products to meet customers
expectations : personalised stamps, funny stamps


Added value products
• There is a new market for companies with the new
personalised stamp we launched in the new
website : IDTIMBRES.


Added value products
• Spin-off products such as watches, ties, scarves, tshirts… are much more difficult to sell because of
higher price value, lack of interest from collectors,
and lack of legitimacy of stamps in that field : we
are not doing that anymore.


Market evolution
• The number of collectors declined until last year,
it’s hard to keep customer loyalty and to find new
• New collectors prefer thematic collections and can
be one time collectors.
• The number of stamps dealers also decline, the
smallest disappear when the owner retire, the
biggest ones merge
• Stamp is communication = the new market .


Customers features : the good news

• Recent studies show that we have in France 3,5%
of the people who declare collecting stamps
(market reserve)
• 42 % of the customers buying on Internet declare
that they keep some stamp to collect
• The promotion made on internet for subscriptions
begins to give results and we stopped in 2009 the
decline of the numbers of subscribers


Paris last exhibition : Le salon du timbre June 2010

100 000 visitors, including 15 000 children

A link between the letter and the stamps “Exhibition of stamps and

A general public targeting that stamps is fun with the new name

Many non philatelic activities for the general public : discover new
civilisations …. A good opportunity to promote stamp collecting in
France trough people interest. Next one will be in June 2012 !