Christmas is a prime opportunity for businesses, especially those which are consumer-focused, to raise awareness of their products and services and ultimately increase sales. The launch of the much-anticipated John Lewis Christmas TV ad is a sure sign that the festive season is well and truly upon us, but if you haven’t already got a plan in place don’t panic because there’s still time.
If you’re stuck for ideas look to those businesses whose brands have become synonymous with Christmas for inspiration. Coca-Cola for instance, whose ‘Holidays Are Coming’ ad this year celebrates its 21st anniversary, focuses on the magic and joy of Christmas. As we see those angelic children’s faces light up when the Coca-Cola truck passes by, we are transported back to when we were young and that feeling of excitement that Father Christmas is on his way.
Nostalgia sells, which is why we’re seeing a resurgence in vinyl records, for example, and the return of old adverts and children’s TV programmes. Recapturing the magic and joy of Christmas is not easy to achieve, but if you succeed you could hit the festive jackpot!
Christmas is also the season of giving so you could follow Starbucks’ example and use it as an opportunity to fundraise for a local charity or give something back to the community. The coffee giant’s annual #RedCupCheer initiative this year will see 250 nominated charities compete for a grant of either £500 or £1,000. The charities which generate the most social media ‘noise’ through supporter awareness and engagement on Twitter and neighbourly.com will receive a Red Cup Grant of £1,000 while the runners up will get £500.
This campaign works on so many levels as not only does it increase footfall and revenue through the sale of its red cups, which feature different designs every year, but it encourages people to think more favourably of Starbucks, which has been hit by controversy in recent years through non-payment of tax. Another reason behind its success is that it engages with people on several different platforms both in-store and online, and in today’s increasingly digital world social media is key.
A simple way of donating to charity at Christmas is to invite your customers to bring in items for your local homeless shelter, or even knit a blanket or hat which you can then present to the charity on their behalf. You can integrate social media by creating a hashtag and encouraging people to post a photo of their creation on Facebook, for example. You could even add a competitive element by asking users to vote on their favourite one. In store, you could give away knitting patterns or run knitting workshops. You could also upload knitting tutorials on to YouTube.
Of course, you could also give some freebies away to your customers to thank them for their business. This doesn’t have to be costly – something as simple as a time-limited discount or two-for-one voucher to be used during January and February when trade is likely to be slower would suffice.
The good news is your campaign doesn’t have to be complicated or costly. Using elements of Christmas in a creative or imaginative way that will appeal to your target audience is a sure-fire way to succeed!
This article was originally published on Lincolnshire Business magazine on 25th November 2016.