Happy Valentine’s day -- to all those who celebrate it, and also to those who don’t. Because even if the meaning of Valentine’s day does not play such an important role in your life, I bet you have noticed its existence today. Many, many times.
Pretty much every brand I follow throughout Schmoozy Fox’s social media channels, has wished me, and the rest of its fans, a happy Valentine’s day. From just a couple messages early this morning, it all turned into a massive wave of red hearts as the day progressed.
Let’s call this festive herd behavior branding bandwagon. The question is: what value does this bring to brands? And what value does it bring to customers?
The bandwagon effect refers to “people doing certain things because other people are doing them, regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override.” (source: Wikipedia) So, many brands will be posting their messages on Valentine’s day not because they are exploding from love towards their customers, but simply because it’s just something other companies do. And of course, often this may seem like a great idea to sell more products.
But in reality, it’s really difficult to say how much of such commercial corporate messaging gets into the hearts of the target audience. My guess is, probably very little. The bigger the snowfall of pink and red-colored images, the less our brains are likely to single out the message. And the less chance you have to get your marketing material noticed.
A similar Branding Brandwagon effect occurs during other festive seasons, such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc.
My advice to brands is: unless it’s something meaningful to you, and unless your post brings a lot of value to your target audience, just go and celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, and wait till tomorrow to post your next Facebook status update. This will give you a better chance to get your message across in a more efficient and elegant way.