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Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, Sarva explores the changing concept of love in the era of dating apps and how marketers can na...
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Reinventing love in a cluttered market

Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, Sarva explores the changing concept of love in the era of dating apps and how marketers can na...
  • The business of love is booming. In India, after Diwali and Raksha Bandhan, Valentine’s Day is the most popular occasion where people exchange gifts.
  • However, the way millennials express their love is constantly evolving. Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, Sarva explores the changing concept of love in the era of dating apps.
  • He further pens down how marketers can take advantage of this occasion, which he says, is a virtual gold mine of opportunities to innovate.
Love is timeless, demanding, exhilarating, in fact a multi-faceted kaleidoscope of emotions. It is a simple term that has the power to invoke complicated emotions. But in the era of Tinder, Bumble and other dating apps, love is also complicated.

Today, the age-old concepts of love are slowly taking on newer avatars. And millennials are one of the primary drivers for this change. Adventurous and experiential by nature, they have the same sensibilities even when it comes to their relationships. Their approach to life involves living in the present and not being governed by anxieties over what may or may not materialize in the distant future. Compared to the previous generations which were hardier and practical, the millennials definitely value self-indulgence. They value space and independence which allows them to be themselves wholly, be it in the pursuit of their career, or cultivating hobbies and in relationships as well. Exhibiting extreme self-awareness around matters of health and well-being, for them the idea of love also includes loving and pampering oneself to feel good.

The internet, smartphones and increasing connectivity have changed the entire paradigm of how love can be expressed. Valentine’s Day is the perfect example for this. And the business of love is booming, going by these statistics. In the US, the expenditure on Valentine’s Day in 2019, was a whopping $20.7 billion dollars, according to the National Retail Foundation.Even in India, after Diwali and Raksha Bandhan, Valentine’s Day is the most popular occasion where people exchange gifts.

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day was known as a day where people in committed relationships celebrated their love. But the occasion is no longer the exclusive domain of couples alone. Today, anyone who has affection in their hearts for anyone else, ranging from friends, family members, teachers and classmates, to even pets can use this occasion to buy each other gifts or express their love with other gestures – why even buying gifts or taking care of yourself is love!

All we need to do is to recognize, cherish, and share the feeling. While flowers, candy, jewelry and watches still remain popular choices to express affection, Valentine’s Day scope is broadening. Customers are buying gifts for a variety of people in their lives, and there are some innovative options for various age groups that are emerging.

For marketers, this occasion is a virtual gold mine of opportunities to innovate and set themselves apart from the crowd. When the market is full of ‘seen that, done that before’ options, here are some ways in which you can set yourself apart in a cluttered marketplace.

  • Give them options to go out together with loved ones, without overt romantic overtones, over a meal, or a movie, or a concert, since many who are single may not want to spend time along but in the company of friends or family.
  • You can’t really put a price on love. While jewelry and other expensive gifts are always welcomed, sometimes it is about the sentiment behind the gift rather than the price tag. And since the gift-giver may want to gift a number of other people, do include some affordable options as well.
  • Keep your online presence (campaigns, websites, social media) simple and clean so that the message is not lost amid heavy jargon or imagery. Also, ensure that your digital touchpoints are fast and optimized.
  • Young people are a leisure conscious lot who don’t mind investing in their own leisure. In fact, according to the RBI, the number of personal loans and credit cards applications from those the age group of 25-35 actually goes up around Valentine’s Day. So, customize vacation package deals and spa getaways accordingly.
  • Encourage more people to indulge in self-love over the long term by caring for their health and wellness. Memberships for yoga studios or gyms, or dance and hobby classes can thus be a great option.
After all, by encouraging people to #ChooseLoveEveryday and reclaim the joy from small everyday gestures and activities, we are giving them a wonderful gift that lasts more than a day!

- By Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, Sarva

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