It’s now December, and for the whole season, you’ll find me bundled up next to any
available fireplace listening to Starbucks announce their new Chestnut-Praline Latte and whole slew of Holiday drinks on Pandora that won’t be here in February. I feel the need to drink up as much as possible because of the well-implemented scarcity tactic – even though I know it’ll be back next year.
The business side of me, additionally, looks towards the companies that are successful during the holidays despite the fact that their product or service may not really “fit” the season. For example, it’s easy for Starbucks to see people year-round because they have summer drinks and winter drinks. They made coffee a luxury commodity that can be tweaked to fit your mood. When the bulk of our favorite holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year’s) are all bundled up in a winter coat, our thoughts revolve around even heavier coats and scarves, rain boots, the fireplace, and hot cider or cocoa. And while Starbucks has it easy, every year, Coca-Cola comes out with their holiday-related advertisements and marketing campaigns, and, every year, their profits soar.
I don’t know about you, but coke is the last thing on my mind during the holidays. So what makes them do so well?
In addition to getting their holiday advertisement out almost a full month before Thanksgiving, they created a strong branding campaign. They leveraged the fact that most people love the holidays – quality time with family and friends, some time off of school or work, and yummy foods we barely think about until the winter swings back into our lives again. Open Happiness™ is a Coca-Cola trademarked phrase used for the product, but is truly significant during “the happiest time of the year.”
Last year, they executed Pop-Up Parks in “drab city squares” where they’d roll out grass and plant trees for people to enjoy the scenery and nature. This year, the campaign is slightly more personalized in that they’re focusing on “Giving a Little Happiness,” which revolves around small acts of kindness. They’ve not only partnered with Jimmy Durante to create a soundtrack for the campaign, but they are following non-celebrities around as they “give the gift of happiness.” It’s an age-old idea, but one with extra merit during the holiday season.
“I’m not a giant conglomerate like Coca-Cola; what can I do to increase sales this holiday season?”
You may not be a giant, but chances are you have a list of current customers who appreciate the little things:
1) Send a simple holiday promotion to current and potential customers and ask them to pass it on to friends and family. Maybe provide a discount on future purchases if they refer you to someone else.
2) Take pictures of your staff and include it in your next eNewsletter or announcement with your well-wishes.
3) Partner with a videographer and put together a Christmas/New Year’s campaign of your own
4) Execute a Facebook or Twitter Holiday Giveaway – one lucky new follower will win a product or service of your choice
5) A simple “Happy New Year” e-mail in the days prior to December 31st asking what everyone’s Resolution is or providing your own.
The smallest of actions go a long way, and could have a far-reaching effect for you and your clients.
Cheers, and a toast to you and your business in the New Year!