I sold my Valentine

Before I share my experiment and observation of the Valentine month this year, it is important to understand the occasion and societal view in Indian context.
These days, Valentine day (Vday) in India is widely celebrated like Holi, Diwali and all other major festivals. Mostly young / unmarried people celebrate it as a day of “DATE and ROMANCE” and the older ones watch it with mixed response.

It all started on Facebook with my post on 29th January as below (Plz ignore the sms lingo used):

After a long time…I have planned to celebrate the day though I have an expiry label for such an occasion..still.. I dared to set up everything n I m really excited n impatient to share it with all my friends…..
The table is set.
Candles ready to burn n make the environment cozy n tempting.
Food to taste is too as per the partners choice.
Mild to severe drinking is optional (Whatever pleases her)
Small n big, 2 gift wraps ready to win her completely at the end.
Career best clothing is shopped n confirmed from plenty of others.
Single rose to bouquet to make her feel special is ready.
Have I missed anything??? Plz guide if u think I have missed out on sumthing that can spoil the show….

Response was overwhelming with young girls adding things to my list seriously, some older friends criticising my age and the occasion, sister and relatives threatening, some curiously watching me as a case study.
Overall a mixed response from people based on how people perceived the occasion in their own culture and personal emotion attached to it with a specific feel of imagining me, a married person, planning to enjoy the day was a big shocker for many of them as if I am committing a crime.

The second post of mine on Facebook was done, the same day, a few hours later and that was a bewildered post in response as below:

Is being in love necessary to celebrate Valentine’s day?
My previous post has generated so many questions to ponder on till that day.

This time, the quantum of likes and comments had gone up compared to the first post with some new people supporting me and some reminding me of my marriage, wife and kid.
The traffic increased probably because, the two liner post was thought provoking. Married ones and the people bred in Indian culture felt safe this time, commenting on this one without the fear of being caught of their own hidden desire.
Even I had personal chat and telephonic discussions with many to take a feel of understanding, how the most critical organ of life, a human brain works.

The third related post was made on 3rd February to have a final learning on human behaviour as below:

I have decided.. I will surely celebrate Valentine’s Day this time..
After my last post I had enough of discouragement from ppl saying… Married ppl sud only celebrate Anniversary.
I will celebrate, be it with work / without work. Be it u, she, they, them / me, with / without.
Nothing gonna stop me this time. u can sarcastically watch / be my valentine… he he.. i will celebrate…

The response was equivalent in terms of likes and comments with more of a neutral approach this time and finally, I closed my study and survey with the best comment given my collegue and a good friend.
He said.. Sir u go ahead, if you succeed, it will be an example and if you fail, it would be a case study. Ha ha… so truly said… You take the risk and based on your result, people will decide.

My final closing post was the post of selling the Valentine… as below:

Friends, plz note that the Valentine Day celebration is cancelled by me owing to work pressure n Berhampur trip. so the valentine arrangement done by me in my previous post is on sale.
Buy now !
Special discount for friends offered.

The response was minimal and my Valentine arrangement got sold at 50% discount on Facebook (as per the FB comments).

Now let’s look at it from the customer point of view and co-relate it with any business environment.
1. Before you launch a product / service….understand the customer profile, age group and the culture it targets.
2. Be clear and careful about its promotion, if it’s a niche product / service / desire like mine (a senior citizen planning to celebrate Vday against the societal belief)
3. In the entire story, u would have got a glimpse of variety of customers and their reaction to the proposition. Hence the product promotion should be done appropriately so that you do not lose out on the apprehensive prospects, who are playing the game of wait and watch to decide later, based on the testimonial / trial report.
4. Some customers will strictly find every fault with the idea, because they are victim of culture / the societal parameters of right / wrong.
5. Some customers would be more than willing to try every new product, if it is not going to cost them much on fun / experimental basis.
6. Looking at the increased likes of the subsequent post, a logical deduction can be, a volatile service / desire / product, people will surely take interest if it is presented well in terms of slogan / punch line / thought provoking statements. Isn’t that what we do in marketing?
7. If everything else fails, look at this statement again… Sir u go ahead, if you succeed, it will be an example and if you fail, it would be a case study.

With lots of love and Regards to all who directly / indirectly became part of my experiment to give me this beautiful insight to human behaviour.

Thank you for a patient reading and looking forward to your honest observation and concern on my experiment this Valentine month.
For more clear and live sales examples / situations encountered, feel free to ask for my experience and suggestions. Contact me for product branding, learning sales skill, negotiation skill and relationship management.
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