What’s love got to do with it? Everything

Do you love, love? Whether you do or don’t as February rolls around, it’s hard to avoid all things rosy and red. True love and love-at-first sight take centre stage in the lead-up to Valentine’s Day. The question for you is, how do you take advantage of the look of love and link it back to your business and what you sell or serve?

It’s absolutely an occasion for gift buying, dining out and the making of moments. 77 per cent of couples will plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with almost half buying a gift for their partner spending on average $90, according to 2019 Australian Valentine’s Day Survey by Brewquets (I must pass on this message to my husband!).

So if you have a consumer product or service that could be connected with love, then how will you make the most of all the attention? This is called trendjacking.

Trendjacking and love…

Trendjacking is the process of observing a trend (like a popular date on the calendar or news/talking point) and then hijacking it through your marketing communications with the purpose of drawing attention back to your business.

Many of us in business are looking for ways to stay relevant and topical in our online content and observing key calendar dates or big news items is one way to do that. The art of doing this well is creating the meaningful connection back to your business and relating it to you and your clients. So, how could you hitch on to the Valentine’s Day trendjacking Ride?

1. Create a loved up offer

It could be as simple as promoting a special Valentine’s Day offer. A discounted meal, or an extra glass of bubbly when couples come into your restaurant or café. Like this restaurant in Brisbane.

It’s a simple creative idea that promotes the Valentine’s Day menu, with a special and a cute tagline – “Love is… eating tacos together”. This could be promoted through social channels, on your website and also with a letterbox drop.

This same principle applies to an online business. What offer can you make for online sales and how do you make it relevant? Are you in fashion? Could you create a promotion for the perfect date night outfit? Are you selling homewares? Feature products that create the perfect date night atmosphere? Selling gifts or hampers? Put together the perfect gift.

Even if you’re not in food, fashion or giftware, you can still create Valentine’s Day offers. You just need to think a bit harder about how to draw a connection, sometimes you might even do it in in a fun or cheeky way. Selling car parts? Impress your date with the hum of your perfect car this V Day.

Selling educational products? Give the gift of a happy educated child to your partner this year. At least you’ll have something to smile about over dinner… ok maybe a stretch. And that’s the point, there are some products or services, that just don’t work. And making a poor or awkward association can come across as spammy or disruptive… so think carefully
before you try.

2. Funny is always lovely

If you’re looking to stand out with your trendjacking efforts, then humour often gets attention. Investing in a campaign that gets a laugh, is likely to be shared which in turn increases your brand awareness and sales.

Humour and amusement are high arousal emotions, according to Jonah Berger who wrote Contagious: How to build the word of mouth in in the digital age. High arousal is a state of activation and readiness for action and is brought on by awe, excitement and amusement (from humour).

Why do we laugh and share people like Aussie Celeste Barber or people walking into fountains while on the phone? Haha, priceless. Creativity, and likely some cash, is required here. At the same time, the rewards in attraction and sales could be worth it.

Let’s look at some examples. Online dating agency eHarmony created a cute campaign with kids in 2017. It linked back the notion of dating with the charming first innocence of love as kids, to capture attention back to their brand away from the disillusioned swipers of the day. The campaign was promoted through social media and local area marketing.

Doritos paired a humorous idea with some influencer power with their limited edition two-person jumpers campaign in 2018. With celebrity influencers including former Bachelorette couple Georgia Love and Lee Elliot, and Jarrod Allen and Maddison Bonner. The jumpers add a little spice to valentine’s day featuring popular Doritos flavours, and because of the
wackiness of the images it draws attention back to their brand.

3. Mix the love with social integration

How could you add some social integration to your campaign to take it up a level? You could create a virtual giveaway for your social fans like Tiffany & Co in their 2018 campaign. They gave fans the chance to select and customise a tattoo sticker to be used on their Instagram posts. Each design was a Tiffany inspired creation with a personal twist and shared with the hashtag #Believeinlove

Starbucks created the perfect social integration with their 2015 campaign for the world’s largest date. They paired with match.com and created the world’s largest Starbucks date.

They invited Match.com members (who numbered in the 3 million) who had coffee and conversations as an interest to pop into a selected Starbucks store on February 13 for a #starbucksdate. The campaign was a success, both in integrating real world and social, and the resulting media attention for the event.

How do you keep the trend-jacking going throughout the year?

Once the love is over, the trends don’t end. What other trends can you hijack that are relevant to your business? When I’m looking at planning for the year, the first question that I ask is what are the relevant calendar dates that I could create a connection with?

What major celebrations are relevant? Like Christmas sales, end of financial year, environmental or social days (e.g. RU OK day, World Earth Day etc) or national or local events that are relevant.

I recommend mapping out the calendar year into dates and then key themes. This will help plan a pathway of what to start writing and where to source content. It has the added benefit of focusing the message for your audience. Don’t have one? I’m happy to share my own Yearly Calendar planner with you here.

Now, go forth and share the love.

Kirryn Zerna is a speaker, writer and consultant who helps brands battle the beige and create remarkable brand communications.

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