Thursday, May 1, 2014

Holiday promotions

     Free daily advice for people in small business
     from someone who has been there, done that.

     Holidays are opportunities to promote your business. But you must think outside the box.

     The public has become accustomed to flowers at Mother's Day and pumpkins at Halloween. Holiday promotions that still cling to cliches no longer attract attention. At least, not the attention you deserve in your small business.

     Florists must see to business all year, not just at Mother's Day. Party stores also need to attract customers for birthday celebrations, and these can occur every day.

     One way to get out of the holiday promotions rut is to think ahead. You do this anyway in the normal worrying about your business. So why not plan ahead for holiday promotions?

     Example: A florist I know concentrates on promoting his design capabilities. Of course, beautiful designs are available for your special mom on her day. So his emails and Facebook pictures do double duty far ahead of Mother's Day. Beginning in March, he reaches out to customers, reminding them of fresh designs to meet their needs--birthdays, anniversaries, corporate meetings, etc. And, of yes, remember Mother's Day is coming up. 

     Today's advertising is much more than an ad in the local newspaper. And it's more than a special reminder of an upcoming special day. The Internet has seen to this, and there ain't no goin' back!

     Example: An ice cream parlor (yes, they still exist) devotes most of its space to special events the customers hold there. Birthdays, anniversaries, corporate meetings, etc. are more fun when held at an old fashioned ice cream parlor. Of course, the place is updated--with frozen yogurt, sugar-less concoctions, biscotti and lattes all around. Instead of just a summer-time destination, the place hops all year. The ice cream has receded, but it contributes to the special ambiance which brings customers back. And back. 

     Thinking outside the box can help you with promotions. You can start with any holiday, and then take it to the next level. Concentrate on the excitement that brings people back--you can build it around a special holiday, but the holiday is not the chief reason for the event. 

     Example: I know an Internet-based operation built entirely around brownies. They will ship brownies anywhere. There is no brick-and-mortar store. Only Internet orders are filled. They regularly send out emails to former customers. The email consists of three words: "Time for brownies?" And a picture of a scrumptious, chocolaty, nut-filled brownie. That's it. Who could resist ordering for any holiday? Or for no reason at all?

     With holiday promotions, remember that you and your business are reason enough for the holiday, not the calendar. Just do it. Find your own way.

     Questions? Email me direct at and put BLOG in the subject line.
     I am retired and I am not selling anything. Your privacy always respected.  



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