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Valentine’s Day special

Love day

By Abhishek Published 2 months ago 3 min read
Valentine’s Day special
Photo by Michael Fenton on Unsplash

Remember that giddy feeling waking up on Valentine’s Day in middle school? For students, "love day" is often an excuse to wear pink and red, stock up on candy .

Flowers, chocolate and jewellery remain staples for Valentine's Day – a market in which US consumers alone

However, new opportunities have emerged in this space. Not only have fresher takes on traditional gifts appeared, but instead of focusing on partners, many players in the industry have also begun offering products geared towards self-care and wellness.

Instead of doubling down on tried-and-true wares, an increasing number of brands are tailoring their assortments and marketing techniques to these changing consumer tides. And companies that historically might not have fit within the holiday gifting conversation are entering the market. These businesses are all laser-focused on providing options for a new consumer segment that wants to indulge in self-care and "Galentine's" offerings, and shake off the mushy Valentine's Day of yore.

A heart-shaped change of heart
The precarious global economic, political and environmental state may be part of shifting consumer attitudes. Many people feel an overwhelming sense of existential dread, which means they are self-prioritising and leaning into "'I deserve it' purchasing", says Faye Landes, a consumer and retail analyst at Landes Advisors, a US-based consultancy.

Crucially, evolving social sentiments also factor in: many people want the holiday to feel more inclusive, acknowledging the importance of platonic relationships and soothing self-care rituals alongside partner-based gifting. "There's a consumer shift to be more holistic around [Valentine's Day] – meaning it's no longer a day solely for romantic relationships," says Audrey Chee-Read, principal analyst at global market-research firm Forrester, based in Boston.

These factors have given rise to perhaps the biggest evolution in the market: the emergence of the Valentine's Day personal-wellness category. Feeley says consumers have a growing interest in "centring the self". This can look like anything from celebrating singlehood and gifting yourself your favourite treats, to bucking the romantic, saccharine aspects of Valentine's Day messaging altogether.

the 5 Love Languages platform to create arrangements for each "love language": acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts and quality time. Although the concept has been around since the 90s, it's experienced a revival throughout the past year on social media, particularly TikTok. This viral popularity inspired the retail collaboration, which 1-800-Flowers expects will win over younger consumers.

The Valentine's Day fragrance market has shifted, too. Boy Smells, known for its Instagram-friendly candles and perfumes in genderless scents, says they've seen consumer interest spike for Valentine's Day. Their marketing approach of individuality fits the niche of self-care and friendship for the holiday, says Matthew Herman, the Los Angeles-based brand's cofounder. "This is a sentiment often expressed between close friends and family, more so than lovers or romantic partners.

Aquarius is the sign of innovation, revolution, and … camp! So, naturally, it makes perfect sense that one of the schmaltziest holidays of the calendar year — Valentine’s Day — occurs during Aquarius Season. The candy hearts? Excessive cherubs? Clashing shades of pink and red? Very on-brand.

This year, however, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about aesthetics. On February 14, the sky will not just be illuminated by an Aquarius Sun, but also a tender Taurus Moon. In astrology, the Sun reflects external energy while the Moon reveals the “behind the scenes” narrative; our internal experience. Taurus, a romantic earth sign, loves to occupy the sensitive moon — this placement creates a perfect alignment between sensuality and emotion. So, for us here on planet Earth, we’ll surely be feeling extra mushy gushy this Valentine’s Day.

tryst with a mysterious lover? The possibilities are endless.

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