With Thanksgiving practically right around the corner, chances are you’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the day after. Black Friday is already proving to be as big a deal this year to retailers as ever before. Stores have already started to hint at the sales to come, and many marketers are trying to figure out how they can outmaneuver their competitors to draw customers through their doors.
The problem? As big a deal as the holiday shopping season is to owners and managers, recent years have seen a sort of fatigue settling in. As stores push the envelope by opening earlier and earlier, as each one tries to outdo the next business down the road, many customers are starting to realize that all of this holiday hype flies in the face of what this time of year is supposed to represent in the first place.
The result is that more and more customers are staying at home and either shopping online or waiting until the crowds die down and they can go out at their own pace.
As much as you want to get people through your door or checking out your brand as soon as possible (because when they come through your door it means that they’re not going through someone else’s) the reality is that people are getting more and more burned out on aggressive tactics that threaten to turn the holiday season into Shark Week Gone Wild. Instead, people are looking to turn this time of year into a season for generosity, considered gift giving and a sense of community.
You can help your customers show the love. Of course you want them in your store — but why not give your customers something more than just the sale they’re looking for? Why not look for ways to help your customers show their connection and consideration to their friends, families and neighbors?
Promote Quality Over Quantity
Unfortunately, a lot of what gets passed around during the holidays is nothing more than cheap schlock. You know it; we know it; customers know it; their gift recipients know it. But when that’s what’s available and that’s what’s being markets there’s only so much you can do.
Why not make a change this year? Why not take the time to promote high-quality items? Not because they cost more and can bring in more money, but because people want to give gifts that they can be proud of. When gifts are chosen with thought and purpose, it makes everyone feel more connected to each other.
Local Is Good, and Handcrafted Is Better
One of the buzzwords in marketing over the past few years has been “local” — and with good reason. Buying local stimulates the economy and puts money back in the pockets of those small-town business owners that give an area its local flavor and color. People are getting tired of seeing national chains move in and bully smaller stores around.
This enmity carries over to products. Sure, a nationally-produced product might be cheaper, but where does that money go? When a locally-produced item is purchased, that money stays in the area and provides a much-needed local boost. In addition, customers feel an instant connection knowing the artisan they’ve helped lives in that area, and might be someone they come into contact with on a regular basis.
Even better than local? Handcrafted. When an item is made by hand it gives us images of sweat, dust, and hard work. People want to see these efforts rewarded, and are willing to show their appreciation to the craftsmen and women who make such objects.
Find Ways To Promote Your Brand’s Community Values
You want your brand to feel a connection with your community. People are more receptive to a brand — whether it be a product or something else — when they know there’s a connection. Being a strong member of your community means promoting the values of that community.
Ideals like family, togetherness and giving are community values that resonate all year long; they are also values that should take center stage during the holidays.
By changing your marketing this holiday season, by promoting kindness, community and quality instead of cheap, mass-market product you can really make a difference in how you and your brand are perceived — not just for the holidays, but for the entire year.