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Preparing Your Brand For a Successful Holiday Season
For many businesses, the holiday season is the most profitable time of year. You know how fast the holidays come around. The problem is, people tend to procrastinate. To successfully prepare for the holidays, you need to start planning well in advance. That means now! The best holiday marketing campaigns take weeks if not months of preparation. You’ve also probably noticed that the holidays get started earlier all the time. Once Halloween is in view, the winter holidays aren’t far behind. Here are some of the main considerations to get the most out of your holiday promotions.
Make Your Holiday Branding Stand Out
The great thing about the holidays is that you don’t have to convince people to shop and spend money. They’re already more than ready to get out their wallets and credit cards. It’s just a question of who’s going to get their business. The downside is that you have lots of competition as everyone wants to cash in and capture holiday shopping dollars. Don’t be just another store (or website) offering a generic holiday sale. Now’s the time to really let your brand shine and let everyone know about the unique benefits you offer!
Tailor your marketing for the holidays. This may seem obvious, but too many businesses simply modify their usual campaigns and put everything on sale. You really want to tap into the spirit of the holidays and let this infuse all your marketing. Use language and images that connect your products with the season. A high-profile example is Starbucks’ colorful holiday cups.
Enhance your marketing with holiday packaging and labeling. If you have a physical store, make sure you offer distinctive gift-wrapping. You should also send out packages using festive boxes and packages. While you want to make your packaging festive for the season, don’t forget to keep everything consistent with your brand voice and image. Consider creating special branded holiday packaging and labels for the holidays.
Identify the best methods to reach your audience. Google Shopping Ads provide you with a flexible and attractive way to create high-profile ads with images. You can, for example, put your products in the Google Shopping Spotlight for maximum exposure.
Target Each Holiday
In some ways, it makes sense to look at the holiday season as a single, continuous period where customers buy lots of stuff. However, it’s also helpful to recognize distinct holidays and segments and target your marketing in accordance with these. Depending on your brand and audience, you may want to focus on some of these more than others.
Thanksgiving. This traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season. While businesses typically start selling the following day, you shouldn’t ignore Thanksgiving in your holiday messages as it plays an important role. After all, getting into a thankful and grateful spirit is really the essence of the holiday season (or should be).
Black Friday. You probably don’t need to be reminded to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year. This is the time to offer your deepest discounts and look for ways to set yourself apart. Another point to keep in mind (especially if you do e-commerce) is that Black Friday is no longer confined to the U.S. It’s now big in Europe and other continents too!
Cyber Monday. This digital version of Black Friday is a great opportunity for anyone who sells anything online.
Winter. Some people celebrate Winter Solstice but, beyond this, winter itself is a marketing opportunity for many businesses. While this is especially true if you’re in an area with plunging temperatures, the winter season affects everyone in the Northern hemisphere around December. People want to warm up, drink hot beverages, buy appropriate clothing, or perhaps plan an escape to a warm destination.
Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa. Depending on your audience, you may want to focus on these holidays separately or simply group them together.
New Year’s. Don’t forget that January is right around the corner. Don’t miss this excuse to run a special promotion to ring in the New Year!
Get Into the Spirit of Giving
Everyone wants to have a profitable holiday season. You’re in business and you have to make money, we certainly get that. At the same time, it’s also important to remember the true spirit of the holidays and show your appreciation to everyone in your life from your own employees to your customers. There’s no reason you can’t give selflessly and build your brand. In fact, letting the world know that you care is one of the best ways to enhance your culture and attract the right people in the future! If you need suggestions on how to do this, give us a call! In the meantime, here are some suggestions:
Create a list of people and organizations that you’re grateful for and think of ways you can show your appreciation.
Ask your employees/team members for help in making this list so you don’t leave anyone out.
You and your employees can volunteer for worthy causes in your area. Group volunteering helps foster team spirit, contributes to the community, and presents your business in a positive light. Don’t forget to represent as you’re doing this. Just as companies do when they run marathons together, you might create a fun branded t-shirt or other apparel to let the world know where your brand stands.
Create and give away original branded gifts. For example, every year we help one of our favorite clients, Aline Architecture, create a unique gift set to send to all of their clients as a token of our appreciation. One year we turned their logo into an abstract snowflake and created a custom wine bottle and tag.
Make the Most of the Holidays
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to rethink your marketing and take it to the next level. It’s also a time to show your customers and everyone in your life how much you appreciate them. You may find that some of the techniques that work best during the holidays can help you all year round. As with all marketing, be sure to pay close attention to your results so you notice what’s working and what needs changing.
Most of all, be creative with your marketing and gift-giving and stay true to your branding. If you need help in this area, partner with us. We’ll help you plan holiday projects that give your brand a boost and put a smile on the customers’ faces. Remember to contact us as soon as possible, as our services are much in demand during the holidays!