Did Trump Boost Your Bridal Sales Last Year?
Sales. You live and die by them. But if you dig into your bridal sales year over year, you may discover (as we did) that something strange is going on. Something outside of your control. Perhaps, something…Trumpy.
While doing research on a client’s business, we noticed that Google Trends was showing much higher search traffic for the term “engagement rings” in their city last year. Wanting to know more, we moved to Google’s Keyword Planning Tool. What we discovered surprised us.
Bridal searches were up dramatically in their city last spring, then went back down to normal.
Local Bridal Search Trends In Our Client’s City
We searched for any major happenings that could have affected the local area. The 2017 inauguration seemed unrelated until we took an even deeper look.
We turned our attention to statewide searches. If this was bigger than the local area, surely it would show up there. At first glance, it looked like the bump wasn’t present. Then we looked closer.
Most years, bridal searches form a nice predictable “U” curve. They go down in the first months of the year and start to go back up in the months leading up to December. Despite Valentine’s Day and Thanksgiving, December is always the highest month. That’s not what happened in 2017.
In February 2017, bridal searches outranked every other month of the year. This was true in all of the states that we checked, including the nation as a whole. Whatever happened was a nationwide phenomenon.
Trump Bump Identified
We discovered that on December 29, 2016, the New York Times ran an article titled Is the Recent Spike in Marriages a Trump Bump?. In the article, they cite year over year marriage license increases ranging from 6 – 40% in cities throughout the country.
The New York Times insinuates that the increase is due to fears of deportation and same-sex marriage bans. Perhaps. We do know that whatever it was, it affected our client’s city more than most.
We expected that maybe their city has a large immigrant population or leans left politically. Quite the opposite. They actually appear to track even with the rest of the U.S. in ethnic demographics, and it turns out they are one of the top 5 conservative cities in the country.
Whatever the motivation, we’re still working to identify it.
Despite the motivation, there is an important lesson to be learned here. Our client’s local economy is strong this year. They expected to be able to match or beat last years bridal sales. But their local bridal market and their local economy are two different things. Now we’re considering comparing this year’s numbers to years prior instead of year over year.
How about your local bridal market? Did it see a Trump bump that will be hard to beat this year? You can take a look using the same free tools that we used. It’s important to be ready for change in your market no matter what happens or who gets elected.
Great marketing agencies dive deeper to help you understand your market. If you’re ready to work with an agency that knows how to do that, contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.