Valentine’s Day sales are expected to hit a record $18.9 billion this Valentine’s Day (and that figure is for the US alone). How can entrepreneurs get in on the action? Can non-traditional Valentine’s Day vendors take a piece of the pie? We’ve taken a look at a few clever V-Day campaigns around the world. Some created by startups, others by large companies and organizations. All of them figured out a unique way to use Valentine’s Day to engage end-users, raise awareness and generate revenue. Get inspired to do something for the next holiday!
Who like likes you?
A few years ago – before Uber became a household name – they created an app called “Who, Like, Likes You?” The premise is simple. You can discover you secret Facebook Valentine – that’s a Facebook friend who has liked more posts of yours than anyone else. It was launched for Valentine’s Day and continues to be used throughout the year.
In an attempt to spread the love in Europe, The Flower Council of Holland – an industry group that helps florists to build their business – installed 1,500 red boxes that resemble emergency boxes that contain red roses. The box says “In Case of Love at First Sight, Break Glass”. It’s not made of actual glass of course, but what’s important is that it got people talking. And that’s what you want.
Pop-up V-Day Dinner
People love “exclusivity,” and perhaps even more so on special occasion. We came across a kickstarter campaign for a pop-up 8-course Valentine’s Day dinner- all made from locally foraged and farmed food. The venture was a success raising over $11,000 USD not to mention publicity for the Chef.
Innocent Smoothie – a British smoothie company – invited consumers to personalize the bottle labels for Valentine’s Day. A custom message can be printed at home and glue onto the label. This is such a simple idea that almost any business can do this.
Every year, the Times Square Alliance of New York, commissions an artist to produce a large heart sculpture. What makes it special is that it lights up when touched and ‘beats’ in a presence of people kissing. This is something that folks DimSum labs can probably do.
We’ve come across several brands teaming-up for Valentine’s Day. Starbucks partnered with Match.com (a dating website) to add a “meet me in Starbucks” feature. Match users who click on that button can email one another and meet up at a nearby Starbucks. Wholefoods partnered with Instacart (a one-hour food delivery service) to deliver flowers in less than an hour. Partnerships are a great way to cross-promote brands while offering something unique to consumers.
Hertz, a car-rental company, came up with a Valentine’s Day car wash deal “Treat your Valentine to a warm, soapy bath and save up to $4! Yes, we at Hertz Car Care Center think your car is special, so we are offering a complimentary car wash upgrade through Friday, February 17th”.
Crowdsourcing Viral Content
A car wash in Texas came up with a great concept for V-Day. They asked consumers to submit “Most Romantic Car Wash” video for a chance to win $1,500. What’s great about this idea is the content will undoubtedly go viral (how can a sexy car wash not go viral?) generating more publicity for the company.
Co-written by Heather Granruth and Yana Robbins