Let’s think about walking into a showroom, a purchasing office or an interior designer’s studio during the holiday season. What do you see? There are large and small Christmas trees, twinkly lights, cookies and candy galore, tall rectangular lavishly wrapped booze boxes and holiday cards by the score. Lots of people exchanging numerous gifts, thanking their customers for a great year and others trying to be remembered in the New Year. So many companies and individuals trying to make an impression. So what happens to all of those gifts?
The business holiday season is a traffic jam of companies trying to be remembered by old accounts or impress new ones. Is this where you want to spend your marketing money? Hoping that Johnny at ABC will recall yet another logo coffee cup that will motivate him to lead his next customer to your display? How many gifts will Johnny receive? Will yours be the one that is magically remembered? It is a big HOPE. But you don’t want to be that company that plays Scrooge and does nothing.
I would like to offer an alternative solution for holiday brand building.
I always tried to find a solid charity that offered a holiday card where we could place a picture of our complete team on the cover wishing Happy Holidays. The money went to a good cause and when anyone asked a team member, they had a good holiday story to share and show where they are in the card cover image.
Doing this freed our holiday marketing money to use during a time when it made a more substantial impression. By mid-January, a lot of people are back in the day-to-day workflow and miss the “entertainment validation” of the holidays. This is a good time to take a target to dinner, bring in a catered lunch or hand out gift cards. By waiting until the January holiday hangover, you will be the lone brand thanking key players and it just might wash away the gift they received from your competitor way back in December. Some companies that follow this plan have a large event in early spring to welcome the building season and rev everyone up.
This plan also removes the stress of trying to do the best thing for your clients and allows you to better focus on your family’s holiday festivities. Because isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
P.S. Let’s never forget that HOPE is not a strategy.
This article previously appeared in the November 22 issue of DPHA’s Connections