Retail brands are failing to build relationships with their customers on Valentine’s Day and are choosing to bombard them with cut-price offers in a bid to generate quick sales, research from marketing agency United shows.
A review of more than 200 Valentine’s-themed advertisements in national media in the week running up to Valentine’s Day revealed 64% of the adverts focused purely on price; ranging from dine in for £20.00 to 7p cards from Asda.
Only 15% of the advertisements were found to centre on brand values that evoke a more emotional response from consumers.
A fifth (21%) of the advertisements hedged their bets, containing both a value and values message.
Some of the 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-operative 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
- Marks & Spence split its campaign evenly between value, values and a combination of the two
Steven Dodds, planning partner at United, said: “The research shows 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 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 the values-led approach does indeed work.”