December is here! and that brings us to the much anticipated global festive period – Christmas. One that has the highest consumer appeal and retail sales peaking high more than any other time of the year. As Christmas looms over, so does the onset of the annual marketing warfare.

Christmas is not about Red and Green. It’s not about shiny tinsels and embellished trees or a generous Santa driving around with an unwarranted vehicle. It’s definitely not about showrooms competing over the most expensive décor. Christmas that time of the year when emotions are high as customers set off on a shopping spree!

Christmas is about thoughtful gifting, spreading joy and cheer. Taking time to connect with your customers and if possible surprising them with something that you know might matter most to them, just the way you would with your family or neighbour or coworker. After all, Branding is all about emotional connect. ‘Tis the season of bonding, making merry and high spirits and the perfect time for businesses to draw an authentic connection to your brand with creative ideas that would appeal to customers.

Now a lot of stores and online platforms out there hold festive sales and offers which in a way help draw in traffic to these online portals and mostly importantly, boost sales. But have you thought of doing something beyond the regular “SALE” and Xmas tree at your store?

Elevate the Mood.

A lot of clients call me weeks and months before the start of Advent asking me for ideas on what to do. What kind of window display do we place this year? “Should I get inflatables?”, “Should we put up window stickers? “. My advice is always 1) Look for ways in how you can connect your brand or business with the activity that you are planning to do. 2) Start early, plan and stay ahead of schedule so you have enough time to get your message across and which is when you will have a more impactful campaign.

We engage with our clients during the months preceding the festive period, to plan and outline the activities, ideas and right approach for the campaign to be executed. Right from the initial concept, to setting the mood at the showroom, to planning the giveaways, the marketing agenda must hold a clear message and objective. And that is to communicate and connect your brand with the customer.

Bring back the Tradition – CARDs!

Oh my goodness. This almost seems like a thing of the past. Does anyone out there send out hand signed cards? Not anymore! Imagine how exciting it would be for your card to be among the only few to have made it to your customer’s home? That too hand signed? Now you may tell me ‘Abi why bother about cards when we have Whatsapp?’ Its modern technology and this is how we communicate today.

Well guess what. One of the most infuriating ways to wish your customer is to copy paste a ready made greeting or even worse, forward someone else’s artwork as a wish. Don’t do that. Unless you want to make it sooner to the block notifications list. It just spells lazy and projects a lack of consideration on the part of the sender.

Personalise your message.

I am all for adding that personal touch. Get a bunch of handmade cards – you will be supporting a charity in doing so. Not forgetting the designers and writers who spend hours and months ahead of Christmas preparing thoughtful messages. Their livelihood depends on the season’s purchases.
Technology is meant to move things more efficiently but don’t get consumed by it to a point that you lose the very purpose of your existence. The link between you and your customer base should be the human emotion and not merely a price slash or formality wish.

Christmas is not a competition and branding during the Christmas season does not mean you have to break the bank! Connect Emotionally. Bring back the human touch. Communicate and Create an impact through thoughtful Gifting and Giveaways. Stay consistent, stay responsive. Campaigns that are fuelled by emotion will surely find commercial success.