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Brand Strategy

Building Brands With Occasion Based Marketing


Habits are powerful, but occasions may be even more so. I think they engage us so effectively because they combine time and focus. And because of that, they provide permission – it’s OK to behave this way or that. It’s OK to do something you wouldn’t do on any ordinary day.

If you’re a smart brand, you’ll find a way to hook into that; to link what you’re about to what people are thinking about on specific occasions. You’ll give them a reason and a way to excel at the emotion of the moment.

On Valentine’s Day it seems appropriate to look at a brand that used the occasion of declaring love to forge one of the most powerful marketing campaigns of all time.

De Beers have turned a diamond into the embodiment of eternity with their sublime catch-phrase ‘A diamond is forever’. They’ve linked the optimism and romance of occasions like engagements and weddings with the promise to stay together ‘till death do us part’. They have encapsulated all that in a single symbol that is desirable, exceptional, immediately recognizable and intended to be presented on a specific occasion of peak emotion and worn from that moment on.

Then they charge the earth for it. Just to make it even more special.


Other brands known for tapping into the power of occasions or creating new occasions include Hallmark, Mercedes, Hershey, Cadbury and MACY’s. Can you think of others?

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Dennis Patrick on December 04th, 2013 said

The foundation and starting point for a solution is integrating the mission and the occasion along the path to purchase. This is the hardest part. There is an art and science to it.

Hilton Barbour
Twitter: ZimHilton
on December 05th, 2013 said

My darling former client Coca-Cola resurrected the nostalgia of Christmas (and all the associated semiotics) by creating a highly-characterized Santa. Known forever as Sundblom Santa and forever tying Coca-Cola with Xmas.

More details here;

Mark Disomma
Twitter: markdisomma
on December 05th, 2013 said

Dennis, Hilton – great observations. Thanks. Mark.

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