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Valentines Day is a Month Away!

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | January 14, 2020
Your first shot to make some money in 2020
It seems like we all just survived the holiday season, but the calendar marches on! Valentines Day is coming up in a month, and the holiday serves as a major revenue driver for many retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Instead of our normal bullet business tips, we want to do something a little different. We want to focus on strategies for three distinct customer groups that your business can target for the Valentines holiday.

Couples- This is the obvious one! Couples search for gifts for one another during Valentines, flowers/jewelry/candies are in high demand, EVERYONE is looking for someplace to eat out, and entertainment options are always en vogue. If you sell one of the options listed above, your marketing should be about standing out in the crowd, making it as easy as possible for people to spend money with you, and consistent (and early) promotion. What makes your take on eating out, jewelry, or candy special/unique? How can you share testimonials from your best customers stating “Everyone knows the best place for ____ for your special Valentine is _____!”
If you don’t fall within those categories, not all is lost. Remember that many retailers have data indicating what people wanted for Christmas. Reaching out to significant others with a “you know, your (spouse/significant other) really wanted a ____; do you want me to wrap that up for you for Valentines Day?” is a great way to push sales. Highlighting the interests of potential gift recipients, and tying those interests to your products as a potential Valentines Gift can drive traffic (if he loves craft beer, get a beer-quet this Valentines Day!”)
Valentines Day offers the perfect opportunity to “team up” with other local businesses to offer package deals. There aren’t many businesses that could do flowers, jewelry, chocolates, dinner, and entertainment as one in-house package, but there are a lot of businesses that can work together to provide opportunities for unique customer experiences. Speaking of experiences, your business can put together future event experiences, and sell tickets for Valentines Day. It’s a great way to generate future sales while providing unique gifts for your clientele.

Singles- A huge and often completely overlooked market are the individuals not in a relationship. The “anti-Valentines” portion of the population is fairly large, and “break up kits” or “break up bonfires” are popular around Valentines Day. There are also a number of singles that are looking to potentially meet someone, and events that cater to single people are well attended in many businesses throughout the United States.
If your business is going for the “break up” route, you can package relaxation items, indulgence products, and humor based items to take the sting out of the holiday. Some entertainment venues (particularly bars) produce nights that cater to girls night or guys night out, or specific “friend” activities that emphasize a dismissal of all things romantic.
If your business is targeting the more “single and ready to mingle” crowd, you need to have a well organized and fun activity that has a more mass appeal (while still providing the chance for individual connections). Speed dating, game nights, and other activities that mix up the crowd while avoiding awkwardness can provide a fun outlet for people that haven’t met that special someone (yet). Teaser information that links back to more detailed web pages or in-store guides can help people feel a little more relaxed when participating (and can help friends/family members encourage people to attend). We can’t emphasize this enough- these “mingle” events must be well planned to create connections among people with similar interests, demographics, etc. But, a well designed mingle around Valentines Day can produce sales through event tickets, merchandise sales, drink/food sales and other revenue streams.

Kids- I think we can all remember passing out Valentines notes to classmates, and who doesn’t like an excuse to eat candy? Emphasizing products for grandparents or parents to purchase for the kiddos in their life is a fun way to spin the holiday. Many kids are into making some of their own Valentines Cards to personalize messages to friends, and businesses can offer card kits, or small gifts (stickers, candy, small toys, etc.) that younger Valentines can offer buddies. While mom and dad are looking for a night out, businesses and organizations can host kids activities (for a fee) that offer a fun alternative to that difficult-to-find babysitter on the Valentines holiday.

After the 4th Quarter boom, a lot of businesses are looking for a 1st Quarter boost. Finding unique ways your business can capitalize on Valentines Day is a solid strategy to boost sales and traffic. But, you don’t have a lot of time! Decide what target market strategy you want to pursue, and get to work getting the word out!
If you have Valentines specials and want some help with promotions, send your digital flyer to Emporia Main Street! We would be happy to spread the word through our emails and social media channels!

#Business Enhancement #Promotion

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.