Business always takes the fun out of holidays. When everyone around you is busy planning parties, family reunions, holiday gifts, you are busy trying to get your act straight. By which we mean, preparing your business for the holidays. There are so many things you want to do, right? You want your team to dress up for the holidays, you want your shopping bags and packaging to look merry and bright, you want your website to bring you (with the fear of sounding outrightly commercial) roaring Christmas business. But do you have a plan in place to help you get all of that done? It’s really not as simple as showing up to work wearing Santa hats and putting out milk and cookies by the fireplace.
We’ve prepared a short list of tweaks to make to your business, to be ready to welcome Santa and the Christmas shoppers. A checklist of sorts, this list will cover most of the things your business needs, to be ready for the holidays.
1. First Things First – Your Holiday Campaign
Popular brands like Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Facebook change their avatars to look Christmas(y). Some even tweak their taglines to add some jingle. It’s the perfect way of expressing how you share the same Christmas joy as does your audience. Last year, Burberry added the classic ‘With Love’ to its logo. The imagery and the celebrity model ( in this case David Beckham’s son, Romeo Beckham) suggest it’s Burberry. The words ‘ With Love’ and blurry snowflakes add the Christmas touch. A simple yet beautiful Christmas campaign.
This is the first step to Holiday marketing and we often do this for most of our retail clients. One of our clients, a popular Halloween retailer, gets its mascot, Skully, to become wickedly merry around Christmas. Though there is no commercial objective here (Halloween season is over, stores are closed) but celebrating with your customers has its perks.
KitKat uses their slogan ‘take a break’ to create a fun campaign. Need we say more?.
2. Spread The Love – To Your Website, Your Stores And Your Office
Once you’ve got your campaign, get ready to shout out loud from the tallest building in the neighborhood. You have to make sure the campaign doesn’t remain sitting there as a profile pic or a wasted hashtag. Your website, your store and your office should reflect the change. Starbucks does this beautifully. Their classic red cups gain much more attention than the contents inside.
The red cup’s design depicts a different story each year. In past years it has presented vintage ornaments and hand-drawn reindeer. Last year, it was about offering space to tell your own story. Like a blank red canvas. Like Starbucks, make sure your holiday campaign reflects in the all your brand touchpoints:
1. Your website – especially your Homepage, About us page, Contact us page and Checkout page
2. Your stores – Shopping bags, packaging, retail window, POS and store staff uniform
3. Your office – team photos, meeting rooms, letterheads, reception (It should reflect in your culture)
4. Your social feed, cover pics and avatars (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat)
5. Your communication – emailers, official mails and sign-offs
3. Share The Love – Gifts And Cards Still Work
Christmas is the season of giving. How can your brand ignore that? The traditional gifting still works when it comes to Christmas. One of the most loved brands around the world, Tiffany still posts its famous Christmas catalogs to loyal customers. It’s a privilege to receive something so pretty in your mail. In classic vintage blue, it’s like a gift from Tiffany to its special customers. Think about what you can send to your customers. If the postal costs sound like an unnecessary expense, think about giving away souvenirs from the store itself.
You can go a step ahead and innovate a direct mailing campaign. Lululemon gave out these cute postcards which its customers could share with their friends on social media or even print out and give away as greetings. What was special was the quirky copy and fun creatives Lululemon used? It was a pleasure to receive these in your inbox. And to top it off, they used the subject line ‘That’s what she said!’ Wow, you will have to open that email, now! Innovative email marketing has its own unique ways. You can get some fresh tips here.
4. One Solid Engagement Idea
This should be an extension of your main campaign. It basically means giving your customers something to do, instead of just admiring a tagline or a good-looking ad. Let’s assume that Burberry actually asked its Instagram followers to tag #WithLove on the Burberry products they choose as gifts for their loved ones, and in return, Burberry gives them a special coupon or a gift. That’s true brand engagement, which is the next objective of advertising.
Do you remember Coca Cola’s #makesomeonehappy campaign? The red and white colors and the simplicity of the ad strike a chord with regular coca cola drinkers, reminding you how it is a part of all your celebrations. But this campaign didn’t stop at just this ad. Coca-Cola is donated $75,000 worth of toys to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Coca-Cola Holiday Caravan, five trucks each illuminated by more than 30,000 red and white sparkling lights, rolled into nearly 200 cities across U.S.A to spread holiday happiness.
5. Bundle Your Products
Christmas is a great time to push complimentary products. Revisit your product range and try to group similar products together.Create an exciting deal. Do we hear you say ‘Duh’? We know this is an obvious marketing strategy around the holidays for most retail brands, but a lot of service brands miss the point. As a full-service marketing agency, we are planning a Christmas deal ourselves. No business should miss the opportunity of offering extra around these months.
Starbucks offers a free coffee. IBM one offered a great deal to people who wanted to try its new analytics tool, Experience One.
Once you have made these 5 tweaks. The final step is putting into place some local marketing skills. Tie up with a brand from a different product/service category, search local trending hashtags, make a list of the upcoming events and pick the ones your brand can be associated with, get local and social. Lastly, test all your e-campaigns for mobiles. Your mailers, landing pages, Facebook ads, everything should look great and function smoothly on mobiles. Let’s just say user-experience on mobile should be your top priority before rolling out any campaign these holidays.
Hope you liked this little checklist for holiday marketing. We had a lot of fun putting it up and revisiting some of the fresh work brands have done in the past. We are putting together some amazing work for our clients and we’d be more than happy to chat about it. Stop by our Greenhouse on Robson, anytime.