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Business Guide to Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is barely a week away. Maybe you’ve been pitching 15 percent-off online purchases or negotiated a deal with florists around the nation to bring local flowers to your customers. Whatever special you’ve prepared to get customers through Valentine’s Day, they aren’t fooled. Consumers have caught on to the fact that Valentine’s Day is more about businesses than it is about intimate relationships. They know your social media strategy incorporates commodifying their relationship, and they will not be so easily enticed as years past.

With the DIY movement and the increased digitization and automation of today’s market landscape, consumers crave personalization. They want to know that the gift they give means something intimate to both the gift-giver and receiver. The easy answer, then, is to enable them. Give them what they want. Instead of just selling them a product, sell them the idea and the product(s). Here’s an idea that does just that.



Most guys are terrified of Valentine’s Day. Make no mistake, the task of planning, orchestrating, and giving falls primarily on us. It is our chance to make up for stinky gym socks and dirty dishes. So give us some ideas: a top-ten list of Valentine’s Day gifts. To do this successfully, you’ll have to craft a few personae, as not all our likes and dislikes are the same – except perhaps for our dislike of the Valentine’s Day responsibility.

Brainstorm at least three market personae: the hipster, the outdoorsman, and the sports guy. Pull men from your personal life and think about what they would give. A trip to the spa or museum. Arts and crafts. A picture frame for a collage. A camping trip. The man who would take his significant other on a camping/survival trip would likely not do so well at the spa. You need to provide original ideas that enable us to project our identity onto a gift to give to our loved ones. This serves two purposes: it validates who we are and our relationship.

How does your business benefit? You’ll get a warm fuzzy, feeling deep in your … no, no, no. Once you’ve hooked your readers, turn to your product base.


Is that it?

If you’ve brainstormed and gotten to the realization that your brand may not be the be-all, end-all Valentine’s Day gift, then great. You’re right. Unfortunately, hopefully, we pray, that a date at Pizza Hut isn’t all he’s bringing to the game. We hope he’s got follow-through. A movie, perhaps. Or some wine. This doesn’t mean your brand can’t be a part of all this. If he’s going on a date, use Foursquare to offer a discount for couples in your area. LivingSocial is another platform you may decide to offer discounts through. When crafting your top-ten list, keep this in mind.

The point here is to take the emphasis off of your product and place it back on the couple. Focusing on selling won’t attract additional revenue. We know that you could care less about Valentine’s Day so long as we bought that bouquet and box of chocolates (rather an antiquated and uncreative gift, by the way). This isn’t the sort of relationship you want with your customers. So give us ideas and gifts worthy of our love, and we may come back next year. We might even come back after Valentine’s Day, when our wallets and egos have mended themselves. But if you give us cookie-cutter products along with ready-made cards equipped with “Sign here” boxes, we won’t.

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