We are man of structure. One can be as nonchalant as they proclaim to be, but a certain structure is still required – a routine to keep us going, from fading into the depths of unproductivity and the stagnation from progressing towards the goals we have set for ourselves.
But as much as we are man of structure, we are also man of celebrations. Once in a while, we would very much enjoy a celebrations of sorts, to take us off the course for a bit – to let loose, to get drunk or even have a cheat day.
Which is why we mark down the special dates on the calendar we go through every year.
However, we live in an age which is saturated by these “national” days we have embedded into our calendar. No longer are they merely Mondays to Sundays.
Now they range from National Doughnut Day to National No Bra Day to National Clean Up Your Virtual Desktop Day Iit’s a mouthful, I know). And that doesn’t include the “International Days” implemented by governing bodies, like “International Day of The Girl” just a few days ago.
In America, they have over 1,200 of these “National Holidays”; 1,200 of these every year. And a year has only 365 days… God bless America.
However, when a brand aligns itself with a particular date in our calendar, they manage to capture the attention and imagination of people.
Why? Because they don’t tell you to buy a doughnut, they don’t tell you to not wear a bra, nor do they tell you to clean your virtual desktop.
They just mark it as a day where the focus is on YOU – the fans of the brand from around the world who would love nothing more than to celebrate the brand they truly love.
And there are three ways for a brand to make their mark on people’s calendars:
1. Your Brand’s Birthday Anniversary
There’s no easier way to place yourself on people’s calendar than the day you were born. If you’re important to them, they will remember you. Just like your best friends who ingrain your born day in their heads every year (or so they say).
Play-Doh has been celebrating their birthday with fans since 2006. So every year on the 16th of September, Play-Doh will organise events for children and those who were young in heart, to learn through creative fun. Through their event they gather fellow enthusiasts, both young and young at heart, to celebrate the clay that helped them craft their imaginations.
In Malaysia, they compiled a video of famous Malaysians sharing their stories about growing up with Play-Doh during their younger years.
On the brewing company’s 250th anniversary, 23rd September 2009, Guinness marked themselves on the calendar as a yearly event for people to celebrate the man who gave them (arguably) the best stout brand in the world, as famous musicians entertaining fans in cities across Ireland, and also other countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Lagos.
But they have stopped since 2013, when people started boycott campaigns to the “boozefest” as there was a 30% increase in ambulance callouts that one night. Even so, in 2015, a bar in Brazil hosted an event on Arthur’s Day and some bars in Ireland continue to celebrate it as “The Day Formerly Known As Arthur’s Day.”
Arthur’s Day is an example of how even after it is no longer being celebrated officially, there are still those few who continue the tradition.
2. Hijacking International Days
In the lead to International Coffee Day, there was a battle of the brands occurring in Malaysia, between Wonda and Nescafe. Since not many people has heard of this “International Coffee Day”, which only started last year, Wonda and Nescafe both tried to claim it as their own, with both fighting for spots on front page of the No.1 English Newspaper in Malaysia – The Star.
Wonda collaborated with multiple brands such as Grab and Domino’s, while declaring the day as “International Wonda Coffee Day”
Nescafe created multiple activations, one of them being giving out free coffee from their special vending machines around 50 locations within the Klang Valley, Penang, and Johor, as they asked people to “Celebrate International Coffee Day with Nescafe.”
3. Brand-Date References
Some brands have a unique ability to relate their brand story to a date. Some through numbers, some through puns, and some through references which fans can relate to.
The most famous brand-date reference is Star Wars. From “May the Force be with you” to “May the 4th be with you”
Fans have been celebrating May the 4th as Star Wars Day since 1979, two years after the release of the original film. It was only in 2011 that the day became commercialized and officially acknowledged by the brand themselves.
N7 is a special military program where only the best of humans can enter. And the character you control, is part of that program. The N7 symbol appears throughout the game, especially on the ship you control.
They claimed the date as day where all Mass Effect fans can get together and celebrate the game they love, as they announce new features or additions to the ever-loving sci-fi series in the gaming industry.
Days created by brands offer legitimacy over the other “national days” out there. The days these brands has created, captures our imagination and attention, as their values are aligned with ours.
By doing so, a brand can be assured of fans eagerly waiting in anticipation, of what they will be expecting in the days leading to the date. Offers, discounts, announcements, and events, all of it give people every reason to celebrate the day of your brand.
How would you attach your brand to date?
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