| Guest Author

Romantic Revenues: Business Advice for the Season of Love

Erica Wolfe-Murray is the UK’s leading business and innovation expert. As a pioneering thought leader, she combines creative, financial and legal imagination to advise on business growth and the inventive use of IP. Erica’s new book ‘Simple Tips Smart Ideas’ is out now and available on Amazon. Read on to find out her thoughts and ideas on how your business can get the most out of Valentine’s Day!

Rich with romantic promise, February’s Valentine’s Day provides a welcome commercial fillip after the January sales have faded from our memories, their banners long since disappeared into the recycling bin.  And just as lovers want to show each other how much they care, businesses can use this timely out-pouring of love to give their bottom line a useful boost.

Creating imaginative promotions and inspiring treats is key – no-one wants to be offered anything that smacks of last-minute or a lack of thought.   So can you come up with imaginative ideas your clients will want to buy to show how much they care?

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated by loving couples for centuries and also heralded the arrival of spring. Tying these two thoughts together allows you to delight even the most cynical romantic.

The Gluttonous Gardener always provides stylishly presented gifts, dispatching a small wooden crate containing a growing plant or tree, with accompanying accessories.  These neatly link a loving thought, with future promise. And in this day of cutting back on waste, a growing plant will show your love far longer than any amount of beautifully packaged stems.  How can your business link a display of love in the present, with the promise of future… Could it be a gift associated with a summer event, a packed basket of wine and food anticipating a much needed holiday – perhaps with the ticket tucked inside?

For companies that offer personal services or treatments, creating a ‘treatment for two’ where both can enjoy being spoiled together, chatting, laughing – perhaps with an accompanying glass of champagne – can bring in both double revenues and potentially new longer term customers.

But if your business is not the first place customers would go looking for Valentine’s inspiration –  what can you do? Is there an opportunity for you to partner up with another local company to create something wonderful and enticing between you?  This type of joint promotion needs advanced planning to ensure it works, rather than feeling it has been shoe-horned together.

And why limit the appeal of Valentine’s Day purely to retail consumers?  We all like to be reminded that we are in someone’s thoughts… I loved the beautiful box of fresh violets a printer used to send me (and every other customer) every February 14th.  It meant so much more than a corporate gift being delivered the week before Christmas.  Telling your clients that they mean a lot to you sets your business apart. It is not something we are used to hearing in the commercial world.  Can you develop a gift service for businesses to share in the Valentine’s Day bonhomie – budgets might be squeezed this year, but imaginative ideas are always welcome.

The other market opportunity that deserve a little treat on this seriously loved-up day of the year are the singles amongst us.  With self-care and wellbeing high on all of our lists, Valentine’s Day can be directed at showing yourself some love, arguably of equal importance as showing it to someone else.  What better way to show your customers you care than offering them a one-off personal treat that soothes and enchants.

And one of the very best things about Valentine’s Day?  If you only come up with a cracking thought, a wonderful sales driver the night before – don’t bemoan that you’ve missed the boat, just tuck it away in your marketing arsenal because sure as night follows day – we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day again next year!

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