The holiday season is upon us. For all you marketers out there, that means it’s also the time to really make your brand shine.
Not sure where to start? Below are six ways that you can create a stand-out campaign that will increase your company’s conversion rates and solidify brand loyalty.
1. Create a Unique Product or Service Just for the Holidays
People go crazy for Starbucks’ Christmas-themed drinks served up in those famous red cups. Think: the Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Latte, Peppermint Mocha…the list goes on.
The drinks create a flurry of excitement so massive that, according to Starbucks, “within the first 48 hours of red Starbucks cups launching last year, a photo of a Starbucks holiday cup was shared on Instagram every 14 seconds.” Since these drinks are limited edition, available only for a few months out of the year, consumers view them as more valuable and as a result, sales skyrocket during this time.
2. Provide Personalized Gifts and Services
In 2014, Barnes and Noble allowed online users to request personalized gift recommendations on Twitter, using the hashtag #BNGiftTip. The goal of the campaign was to provide customers with the same kind of experience that they could find in-store. The bookstore established itself as an expert on the subject of books, all the while providing outstanding customer service.
It’s pretty much a fact that people tend to get more emotional around the holidays. Capitalize on this fact by creating a marketing campaign that appeals to emotions. One way to do this is through storytelling, an integral part of fortifying your brand identity and connecting with your consumers on a deeper, emotional level.
In its 2014 campaign, Burberry cleverly took note of the fact that almost everyone wants to fall in love, especially around Christmastime. So the brand created a music video that plays out a love story “inspired by the golden age of cinematic musicals…against a theatrical backdrop of London”. Of course, all the actors are wearing or using Burberry products, and at the end of the video is the message “Discover more at Burberry.com.” The Youtube video was so popular that it has since received over 10 million views.
Bottom line: If you focus on storytelling, instead of just selling, your campaign will appeal to your audience more and be much more successful.
4. Give Back
Christmas is all about giving at the end of the day. Instead of encouraging your consumers to buy, buy, buy, a more effective approach is to give back to them—or to a charitable organization.
Macy’s Believe Campaign is a perfect example of this. For each letter to Santa that is submitted to the Macy’s store, $1 is donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Whether it’s giving back to your customers through a giveaway or donating to a charity, find a way to be generous this holiday season.
5. Create Something That People Will Want to Share
If your content is sharable, then you can consider it successful. Make it a goal to have your content go viral.
In 2006, Office Depot/Office Max started an ongoing holiday campaign called “Elf Yourself”. The retail store created a microsite that allows people to upload pictures of their faces, which are then pasted onto the bodies of little elves, who then perform dance routines. The resulting, personalized videos are charming, funny and festive (so much that I even shared this on my own social media account years ago!). And as a result of the campaign, the Office Depot/Office Max website garnered 193 million visits in 2007 alone.
6. Stay True to Your Values
Above all else, be sure that your campaign is reflective of your brand values this holiday season. Remember what your brand is all about and what it stands for— and be sure that that message comes across clearly in your campaign.
In 2015, the outdoor retail store, REI, did a brilliant job of this. In a refreshing break from the norm, they sent out an email to all of their customers, announcing their decision to close all retail stores for Black Friday. With the #OptOutside hashtag, REI encouraged people to spend time with their loved ones in the great, wide open, instead of shopping. After all, being outdoors is what they are all out.
By rejecting the standard consumerist, company-centric approach to Black Friday, REI proved to their customers that their brand values are more important than sales.
Now that’s a company that I’d like to shop from.