February, Ripe with Shop-portunity

Did you know that during the shortest month of our year (despite it’s extra, 29th day), we will have managed to squeeze in at least 7 different “holiday” celebrations. And 3 media holidays worthy of their own glorious nights of festivity! That’s TEN DIFFERENT shopper marketing opportunities this month! Had I not been intrigued by the “extras” Galentine’s Day and Leap Year’s Day additions to the holiday calendar this year, I almost certainly would have assumed that this month was about the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, game over.

But those are just the mega-investments. In chronological order, February holidays/non-traditional Millennial holidays/cultural observances/media events etc. include Groundhog’s Day, The Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, The Grammy’s, The Academy Awards, and Leap Year’s Day

The two that get the most attention (and shopper marketing investment) by brands are certainly the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day. But innovative, scrappy, crafty brands have found ways to make their brands relevant in other new and exciting ways!

For example, this year Peep’s spring chick(en) took on Punxatawny Phil in a digital election campaign to crown the “True Sign of Spring.”

And while there has yet to be a brand has step in to truly “own” the hyper-Millennial, non-traditional new holiday, Galentine’s Day itself, the holiday is picking up steam with shoppers who appreciate inclusive messaging (see Reese’s BFF conversation cups ) that celebrates all of the special relationships in their life. We expect to see more shopper marketing love for Galentine’s Day as brands and retailers catch on to the idea that extending and broadening the Valentine’s holiday can significantly increase the bottom line!

And that brings us to today! Every four years, a few clever brands get in on the extra, unique fun inherent to Leap Year’s Day. In 2012, Zappo’s offered shoppers an extended, 4-year return policy for Leap Day purchases; Ikea celebrated by discounting 229 of its products by 29 percent. And others have played up the advantages of “added time,” encouraging shoppers to participate in valuable informational seminars or make and check items off their Leap Lists. This year, we’re keeping our eye on Arby’s, and if their special, one-day-only Vegetarian menu (hint: they’re trolling us) helps to draw in consumers. And we’re curious to see whom else might step up to take advantage of the extra fun of today with their shoppers!

There’s a lot going on within February’s calendar. All of this untapped holiday potential certainly broadens the opportunities in shopper marketing for brands and retailers who might be tired of the same parade year after year. So which holiday in February might be most meaningful to your core shopper? To your region? Are shopper wants and needs being addressed in any way on this day? Will your brand rise to the occasion and bring some shopper marketing love and holiday solutions to the occasion?

TL/DR: February is a month full of fascinating and festive celebrations! Maybe there’s an occasion, a night, another unofficial holiday to explore when trying to connect with shoppers and better align with their interests and values when they’re in the mood to celebrate!