Business of Love
INVESTING ON THE GO - Vernon Go (The Freeman) - February 12, 2019 - 12:00am

What does love have to do with business? I’d say everything.

I have talked about related topics before in this column, like how expensive the activity of marriage has become, Valentine’s Day money making ideas, and the financial or investing goals are driven by love.

I keep on saying this, personal finance is more personal than finance. The finance part is math and calculations but what ultimately drives investment, money management, and business decisions is our hold on our own emotions.

We invest because we want to have a better life not only for ourselves but for the ones we love too - that sounds like love to me. And if you are investing for selfish reasons like you just want to be successful and rich, then I say that’s a form of love as well - self love. Why do we buy insurance and health care? For love.

Filipinos' spending during the love month of February can rival that of the Christmas season. Spending on consumables (chocolate, food, and flowers) and travels or staycations increase. Related suppliers, events and service providers make a lot during this season too.

Now this is not only limited to couples, singles are not spared as marketers find strategies that will further create more frequency of buying behavior.

Business of Love

The business of love has existed for a long time, we just feel its seasonality as we just participate in the  season. But there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. For flower farmers and the like side hustlers, they prepare for this ahead of time. Marketing departments of SMEs have a calendar to work with to take advantage of seasonal consumer spending.

Some even become specialist firms focusing on one aspect of love. It could be as simple as love letters or cards. Like the card company hallmark, they have Valentine’s cards for the season but they also have a lot for other life milestones such as having a baby, marriage, graduation and so forth.

If you have the skill of calligraphy, then you can do something simple as writing letters or decorations for the season. Such a skill that’s used for love letters can be traced back to the 1800s.

Paris painter Marcel de Leclure in 1875 hired a scribe to write a love letter for his love interest Magdalene de Villalore. The love letter only contained the French words "Je vous aime" or "I Love You" written 1,875,000 times. It is said that he dictated the phrase and had the hired scribe repeat the phrase which led to a combined oral and written expressions of 5,625,000 times before it was sent to his beloved.

Digital love

If you are not too fond of the brick and mortar side then there’s also potential opportunities in digital (AR, VR, or potentially something else). Dating apps make a lot of money through various business models such as freemium, in-app purchases, subscription based and advertising. Some of the leading players in the online dating industry are tinder, match.com and even facebook wants a piece of the pie too.

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, make it about making your customers and potential buyers feel special. If you are in the love business to make money, it won’t work. Success comes from basic customer service - by giving value and caring about your customers.

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Vernon Joseph Go is an RFP®–Registered Financial Planner | Licensed Real Estate Broker | Content Creator | Podcast-on-the-go Producer & Host

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