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Comment: Happy ValentineÂ’s day

Brands are choosing value over values.


Comment: Happy ValentineÂ’s day

Brands are choosing value over values.

New research from marketing agency {united} shows that brands are failing to build relationships with their customers on Valentine’s Day, and instead are choosing to bombard them with cut-price offers in a bid to generate quick sales.

A review of over 200 Valentine’s-themed advertisements in national media in the week running up to Valentine’s Day revealed that 64% of the advertisementss focused purely on price - ranging from the sublime such as dine in for £20 to the  7p cards from ASDA.

Only 15% of the advertisements were found to centre on brand values that evoke a more emotional response from consumers.  21% of the advertisements hedged their bets, containing both a value and values message.

Some of the unexpected findings included:
• Boots’ Valentine’s campaign went head to head with rival Superdrug to focus purely on price.
• Laura Ashley failed to capitalise on its brand values by choosing a discount based campaign.
• The Co-op has abandoned its usual values-based stance to opt for price orientated advertising. 
• Waitrose and Sainsbury’s chose the middle ground and took a combination-only approach.
• M&S split its campaign evenly between value, values and a combination of the two.

Steven Dodds, planning partner at {united} commented, “The research shows that there is a wealth of opportunity for brands that wish to evoke a deeper connection with their customers during the Valentine’s period, particularly given that Valentine’s Day is more of an emotional event than a strictly commercial one like Halloween.  The majority of communications we monitored were one hit wonder discounts clearly hoping to generate quick sales. However, such communications are failing to resonate with customers that want deeper relationships with their favourite brands.  The fact that Waitrose and Sainsbury’s chose an approach that included offers that appealed to the consumers’ beliefs is reassuring, and their recent growth in sales is a measure that the values-led approach does indeed work.”

Don’t miss the Retail Bulletin’s 3rd Customer Loyalty Conference. Join us in London on June 13th 2012 and find out how to Maximise customer loyalty and stability by communicating brand value, build trust and engage your customers. Sponsored by The Logic Group, speakers already confirmed are from Tesco, Costa Retail, The White Company, Shop Direct Group, Npower, Orange-France Telecom, Lush, Phones 4U, Joules Ltd, Just-Eat, Topshop, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Logic Group, Empathica, Visa Europe. Click here for further details and registration.

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