National Days: a nation of appreciation

National Days: a nation of appreciation

What day is it today?

Whenever you’re reading this, you can pretty much bet it is a ‘day’. I’m talking about the endless national and international appreciation days, weeks, months even. Whether it’s a day dedicated to pizza, potatoes or puppies, carrots, cats or curry, the list is almost endless (notice the food and animal themes here). Somewhere, someone has stamped a date in the calendar to show their appreciation.

So why do brands make a fuss of these random moments in time?

It’s not always just to jump on the bandwagon. Sometimes brands join in because they know that consumers will enjoy the conversation, especially us Brits. We love a talking point, and if it’s not the weather, why can’t we chat about it being National Puppy Day for a change? This is a recent example, which took place on 23rd March, and saw plenty of us sharing the puppy love. #NationalPuppyDay trended, London’s Biscuiteers promoted dog biscuits alongside Dog’s Trust, ITV’s This Morning hosted cute, four-legged guests on the show and so on. This was a perfect moment for brands to capitalise on a nation of dog lovers.

More profoundly, March saw International Women’s Day. We at Stripe weren’t alone in joining in the conversation, and were amongst heaps of brands and influencers to do so.

Back in February, we witnessed a flurry of engagement around a very different occasion: National Yorkshire Pudding Day. When the much-loved British brand Aunt Bessie’s tasked us with spreading the word about this little-known day and leading the conversation around it, we thought… what about the first ever Yorkshire Pudding Wedding Cake? You batter believe it! Weird, wonderful and highly desirable in the eyes of some.

We can confidently say we owned National Yorkshire Pudding Day and got people talking (or chuckling) thanks to the widespread national and regional coverage that landed across print, broadcast and online.

Unlike National Yorkshire Pudding Day, which didn’t come about from a specific brand, there are also occasions when brands take it upon themselves to create a national day. If done well, this doesn’t feel forced or too brand centric. Inevitably other rivalling brands join the conversation and it then becomes a challenge for the creator of the occasion to lead the chat by celebrating it in the most engaging way. Take McVitie’s with National Biscuit Day. The biscuit maker led conversation on the day in 2014 by revealing that we’ve been eating Chocolate Digestives upside down, and followed this last year with a poll unveiling what your favourite biscuit says about you. Simple but winning recipes for great coverage.

Brands continue to face the challenge of initiating and participating in relevant conversation with consumers. Making a brand’s offering – be it product, service or interest – the topic of conversation through a day of national appreciation shouldn’t be overlooked, even if it may seem a little obvious. For now, these events can really work hard for brands, although that’s not to say consumers won’t tire of this approach altogether in time.

So back to the question, what day is it?

Well the day I write this, it’s National Garlic Day of course (19th April)! I thought I could smell something.

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