Marketing Opinion South Africa

How savvy marketers can leverage Valentine's Day to boost sales and brand loyalty

While some may see Valentine's Day as merely a day for love, flowers, chocolates, and greeting cards, savvy marketers recognise it as a prime opportunity to align their brand values, drive sales, and maximise return on investment (ROI).
Source: Monstera Production  Angela Bruwer, of the IMM Graduate School, emphasises the significance of strategic opportunistic marketing on special occasions such as Valentine's Day
Source: Monstera Production Pexels Angela Bruwer, of the IMM Graduate School, emphasises the significance of strategic opportunistic marketing on special occasions such as Valentine's Day

At the heart of this lies the crucial role of marketing in positioning brands effectively and capitalising on special occasions.

Angela Bruwer, the executive academic head of the Faculty of Marketing, Supply Chain, and Business Management at the IMM Graduate School emphasises the significance of strategic opportunistic marketing in this regard.

"Marketing isn't just about selling products: it's about creating meaningful connections with consumers and leveraging various touchpoints to drive business success," she explains.

Create memorable experiences

She notes that holidays and special events serve as perfect occasions for brands to showcase their values, engage with their audience - and boost sales.

“By aligning their marketing strategies with these moments, companies can create memorable experiences that resonate with consumers and foster brand loyalty.”

She illustrates this as follows: “Picture a small specialist chocolatier nestled in a bustling city.

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, the chocolatier decides to leverage the occasion to showcase their commitment to quality and craftsmanship.

Instead of merely advertising their chocolates, they craft a story around the artistry behind each piece, highlighting the passion and dedication that goes into creating the perfect treat for loved ones.

Through social media posts, behind-the-scenes videos, and personalised packaging, they invite customers to immerse themselves in the romantic journey of chocolate-making.

The result? Quite likely, a surge in sales and a loyal following of chocolate aficionados who appreciate the brand's authenticity and attention to detail.”


One of the key aspects of successful holiday and special occasions marketing is authenticity.

Brands that authentically align their messaging and promotions with their core values tend to resonate more deeply with consumers.

For instance, a company known for its commitment to sustainability might promote eco-friendly gifts or initiatives that give back to the community, whether related to Valentine’s Day, or Mother or Father’s Days.

Beyond traditional product offerings

“Moreover, effective holiday and special occasions marketing extend beyond traditional product offerings,” adds Bruwer.

“It involves crafting compelling narratives that evoke emotion and connect with consumers on a deeper level. Whether it's telling stories of love, friendship, or self-care, brands can leverage these themes to create meaningful connections with their target audience.”

By leveraging various channels such as social media, email marketing, and influencer partnerships, savvy brands can reach a wider audience and generate excitement around their offerings.

Embrace inclusivity and empowerment

Additionally, tactical pricing strategies, exclusive deals, and limited-time promotions can incentivise consumers to make purchases, thereby maximising ROI.

“Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love; it's also a celebration of friendship and self-love”.

Bruwer gives a further illustration: “Recognising this, a beauty brand decides to embrace inclusivity and empowerment in their Valentine's Day campaign.

“Instead of focusing solely on romantic partnerships, they launch a campaign celebrating friendship and self-care.

“Through inspiring stories of female friendship, uplifting affirmations, and special promotions on skincare and wellness products, they encourage customers to pamper themselves and show appreciation for their loved ones, whether romantic or platonic.”

Power of marketing on special occasions

These anecdotes illustrate the transformative power of strategic marketing on special occasions. It's not just about selling products; it's about telling compelling stories, fostering meaningful connections, and aligning with core values.

As Bruwer aptly puts it, "Such special occasions provide a canvas for marketers to paint a portrait of their brand values and connect with consumers on a deeper level."

By tapping into the spirit of the special day and leveraging storytelling, personalisation, and inclusivity, marketers can create memorable experiences that resonate with consumers and drive business success.

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