Budgets may still be tight, especially with less than two months revery time since the holiday season. It’s no wonder that the commercialism around Valentine’s Day seems a bit sluggish this year. The sentiment around the romantic holiday is shifting from candy and roses to paying down debt, with couples deciding it’s far more romantic to lower the balance on their credit cards than do any big spending on Valentine’s day.
With Valentine’s Day less than 48-hours away, we’re beginning to see how consumers have been feeling about the first commercial holiday of the year. Even those with the best of intentions may have wanted to do a little something extra for Valentine’s Day, but found that there’s just not much wiggle room in their budget. The Chicago Tribune reports that the ideals of Valentine’s Day are being remembered this year, but the spending is going down. It may actually be enough to simply express your love with words this year, skipping the themed hotel stay or an expensive bottle of champagne.
With the numbers rolling in, it’s becoming quite evident that retailers and brands aren’t seeing as much of boost in winter spending as they have in years past. The trend reflects consumer’s attitude about the market as well as Valentine’s Day itself, changing the ideals promoted around the day of romance. You can generally get away with smaller spending budgets for Valentine’s Day compared to other holidays, and couples are taking full advantage of the mutual benefits of saving money.
Some brands are being quite considerate of this changing sentiment, promoting their products in a less aggressive manner. Social media has also been another medium for certain marketing campaigns, using budgeting tactics for themselves as well. DeBeers, for example, has ads that promote only its name and not its diamonds. Branding alone may be a useful method in our current economic state, giving consumers ongoing association with the brand name itself even without the advertising of its products.
Other brands still may want to become more involved with their consumers, marketing themselves as a convenient service that’s tied into their product. Towards this end, many brands are looking to mobile apps for the purpose of interacting with consumers. Learning of their consumers’ needs and behavior in this way can help them to improve their products and their marketing in the future. If the economy keeps forcing us to hold a tighter reign on our budgets, advertisers will need to find better ways to appeal to consumers.
We saw a similar effect over the Christmas holiday, and even Super Bowl, as advertisers began to look to social media and other forms of digital advertising for the promotion of their brands. Finding ways to combine service with their products has offered a utility to consumers, increasing the overall appeal of the brand itself. We’re likely to see these tactics develop throughout the year.