The author, Richard Jordan, once wrote: “Ireland has always been the home of the dreamer, the poet, and the storyteller.”
An apt assessment considering the rich tapestry of myths and traditions that have been interwoven into the “St Paddy’s Day” celebrations we know today.
The stories and teachings of St Patrick have been celebrated on the Irish isle for centuries, but it wasn’t until early Irish settlers brought the tradition to the Americas in the 17th century that the more modern St Patrick’s Day festivities started to take shape.
By the 20th century, the day had been “Americanized” with lavish parades, leprechaun hats, and unhealthy amounts of Guinness and Jameson imbibed. They even go as far as dyeing the Chicago River green every year as part of the festivities.
It is an extremely lucrative celebration both in Ireland and the United States. According to WalletHub, 2023’s festivities are forecast to deliver $6.85 billion of consumer spending on the day.
As the 17 March approaches, read on to discover how the traditions behind St Paddy’s and its current evolution can teach you three valuable marketing lessons.
1. The right words and a good story can help form connections
People naturally strive to form connections. Stories can be a powerful and deeply fulfilling way of helping people connect with their history and culture. There is a reason why human beings have been passing stories down generations, all the way back to when we were merely a collection of wandering tribes.
Would Christmas be as effective without the nativity or Rudolph? Would Valentine’s Day work as well without Cupid and tales of star-crossed lovers? Would Halloween be as thrilling without the litany of Horror stories behind it? St Patrick’s Day is no different.
A long time ago, on an island not too far away, a wandering missionary took refuge on a hilltop to rest and undergo a 40-day fast. However, much to his chagrin, his peace was abruptly broken when he was pounced upon by a nest of snakes.
Raising his staff, he chased the snakes away, driving them into the sea, before proclaiming all snakes would be banished from the island forevermore.
The fable of St Patrick is commonly known, and whether you believe it to be true or not, it helped form the foundations of the Gaelic celebrations held today. Stories have power and can drum up excitement, curiosity, and provide a greater understanding.
What’s your story? How are you unique? How did you get to where you are today? These are important questions you should be asking yourself and the answers can help your business better connect with current and prospective clients.
Would St Paddy’s resonate with people as much, especially those with Gaelic roots, if it wasn’t for the tales of leprechauns, fae, and the oral traditions of Irish drinking stories?
2. Symbols and imagery convey meaning and resonate with people in ways that words can’t
When you close your eyes and picture St Patrick’s Day, what do you see? I’d wager an abundance of the colour green, gimmicky costumes, black and white Guinness pints, shamrocks, and pots of gold.
Imagery can quickly convey meaning and resonate with people in ways that words simply can’t. It can invoke feelings, memories, and the intent behind something.
Leprechauns and shamrocks might feel a bit on the nose, but if you see one on a poster or the signage for a pub, your mind instantly thinks “Ireland”.
Perhaps St Patrick’s Day’s, and Irish culture’s, greatest coup is co-opting an entire colour and all the positive associations that come with the colour green — magic, money, and greenery. Was green always seen as a lucky colour or was it imbued with the “luck of the Irish”? It’s powerful marketing.
Branding is a vital part of a successful marketing strategy. Your logo, design schemes, photography, and videography are all likely to influence how potential clients perceive you at first glance. When delivered well, it can convey the key messaging behind your firm quickly and effectively.
After all, the old adage goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”.
3. Humans are pack animals — people naturally want to form strong bonds
Beyond all the pageantry, St Patrick’s Day is ultimately about family and friends – whether it’s sitting down for a hearty stew with your loved ones, singing the night away with your friends at the local pub, telling folk stories to your children or grandchildren or, for the religious among us, attending mass.
The stories, the costumes, the excitement of the festivities attracts people in for sure, but people naturally gravitate towards holiday celebrations because they’re opportunities to form connections and bond with their loved ones.
Gifting at Christmas, overdue date nights on Valentines, or taking the little ones trick or treating at Halloween — people form the heart of all successful holidays.
Projecting your voice in your marketing and humanising your offering, can make you more relatable, and allow you to foster long-term, trusting relationships with your clients.
The right offering can help your clients see you as more than just an adviser, but rather a friend and confidant that they can put their faith in to oversee their journeys towards their ideal future.
Follow the rainbow to your very own pot of gold
So, this year, it might be worth taking a page out of good old St Patrick’s book and looking long and hard look at the effectiveness of your marketing.
Who knows, it just might bring about some newfound luck and good fortune, and help you guide a wealth of new clients along their rainbow roads towards their very own pots of gold?
At the Yardstick Agency, our team of professionals can deliver on multiple fronts. Whether it’s overhauling your website, designing vibrant and engaging branding, or writing topical and persuasive content that will encourage clients to get in touch, find out what we can do for you.
The first step is to get in touch with us at email@example.com or call 0115 8965 300.
From all of us at Yardstick — Sláinte!