For a lot of people here, November the 11th means Remembrance Day as we take the time to thank those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. In China though, people are gearing up for what is known as “Single’s Day” which is supposed to be China’s anti-Valentine’s Day. This is celebrated by stores offering huge discounts on products similar to how we have Boxing Day or Black Friday in the US. To give you an idea how huge it is, last year apparently Alibaba generated about six billion dollars in sales that one day.
I was always told that Valentine’s Day was invented by retailers as a way to get people to buy stuff. This example sure kind of shows that you can invent a holiday based on almost anything. As long as it has some kind of emotional attachment to it people in droves will follow it. It makes me wonder whether or not as consumers knowing that these are invented holidays and events to make you shop make any difference as to whether or not you would still expect others to take action on those days. Otherwise you would get viewed in a bad light.
Take Valentine’s Day as an example. Let’s say throughout the year you and your partner are always romantic and thoughtful to one another. At the same time, you two know that this event is a retail marketing gimmick designed to play with your emotions to spend more. Would you be inclined to treat it like any other sales day with no expectation on one another? Or would the expectation of not doing something for the other be too weird? I would imagine for most the peer pressure is too strong.
It’s an interesting point if you are an entrepreneur too. Instead of waiting for the events to come you can just make your own.