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Using Holidays: The Standard and the Unusual

Thursday, 17 January 2019 Posted in Business Strategy

Using Holidays: The Standard and the Unusual

The one thing about holidays is that there are a lot of them. We have them in all seasons and for just about every occasion imaginable. There are spring holidays and fall ones. There are happy, cheerful ones; there are reserved, solemn ones. The one thing all these holidays have in common is that they present a great opportunity for quality marketing.

The nice thing about holiday marketing is that much of the work is already done for you. Most holidays already have a color scheme (black and orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, and so on) and a general feel. For example, the Mardi Gras is boisterous, while Memorial Day is more somber. Some holidays like Thanksgiving are all about family, while others like the 4th of July are about noisy fun and barbecues. 

With a little planning and creativity you can easily build a marketing campaign around these holidays. In fact, you absolutely should. Many successful companies have made a fortune from basic holiday marketing.

Now if you’ve been in business any length of time, you probably already know the value of basic holiday marketing. The downside to the equation is that your competitors know it too. If you want to stand out from the crowd, sometimes you need to do something a little different. Here are some examples of marketing campaigns that are outside of the box.

On Black Friday you want customers in your store, right? You want them to shop ‘til they drop. The last thing you want is for them to go outside. In 2015, REI, an outdoor clothing co-op, decided to change things up by closing stores, headquarters, and distribution centers on Black Friday. Instead it encouraged its online community to take the day off from both work and shopping and spend the day outdoors. With growing sympathy in the country about retail employees who have to miss Thanksgiving, the campaign not only generated good will, but led to some great tie-ins with the National Park Service as well.

Another good example is Coke’s “Peace in the Mall” campaign. We all know holiday shopping can be a little stressful. Another several hours of walking the floors and being bombarded by hundreds of loud, noisy ads (not to mention the other, equally stressed holiday shoppers), you’re about ready to crack. Instead of just ignoring this very real but rather unpleasant aspect of the holidays, Coke embraced it. Why not share a Coke in peace and harmony instead of fighting to the death over who gets to buy the last thingamajig on the shelf?

Whether you choose to go the traditional route or step off the path with your holiday marketing, the important thing is not to let them pass you by. Make the holidays an integral part of your marketing and watch your business take off.

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