Everyone loves a deal, right? While that may be true, when all of your competitors are offering the same kind of discounts, how do you stand out among the crowd?
Seasonal promotions are a great way to put your brand in the spotlight, but even then, you need to be clever in how you design your strategies. Holiday sales are a dime a dozen, but the ones that work well, work very well. Sometimes, the difference between the two is just a little clever brainstorming.
Northsail has experience thinking outside the box to meet our objectives. It's all part of our commitment to ensure that we finish every project on-time, on-spec, and on-budget. In fact, we're so committed to maintaining top-quality standards, we'll even turn down projects that we don't feel we can complete above and beyond our clients' expectations.
So, in an effort to help you plan your next seasonal promotions, we've put together some suggestions for different ways you can use these marketing strategies to your benefit. Before we get to the suggestions, let's discuss the basics of what a seasonal promotion can be.
Seasonal promotions are a type of marketing strategy that typically involves discounts, special offers, bonuses, contests, or limited-edition products that are tied to either a specific part of the year, holiday, or annual event.
This could be everything from Canada's Day sales to back-to-school events. The major benefit from running these types of promotions is that you can bring attention to your business during a time of the year when sales may normally be low. It can also allow you to take advantage of the gift exchanges and expectations to spend money, which accompany certain holidays.
Executed properly, seasonal promotions can also be a great way to establish a long-lasting emotional connection with customers, transforming them from a one-time customer into a loyal champion for your brand.
The reason it's so important to take advantage of seasonal promotions is actually quite simple, regardless of which event is being targeted - urgency.
The very definition of seasonal promotions means that they are only offered for a limited time. Putting a time limit on how long your customers can access these promotions, drives our natural urge to participate as much or as quickly as possible, before we miss out. If you can design your seasonal promotions to be engaging and exciting for customers, they'll want to take part while they can.
Combined with the emotional connections that holidays and annual events create, successful seasonal promotions allow you to build an association between your brand and the positive feelings customers have for those events. These feelings help establish an emotional connection between your business’ core values, and those of your clientele, which creates brand affinity.
There are a lot of different ways that you can handle running seasonal promotions, depending on the time of the year, and whether or not you're framing your promotion around a holiday.
With that in mind, let's discuss a few popular seasonal promotions that you could incorporate into your future marketing strategies.
What comes to mind when you think about Christmas? Massive, ornament-covered trees? Wrapped presents and hung stockings? Gatherings with loved ones?
Family is at the heart of most successful Christmas seasonal promotions. The season of giving is metaphoric in how many businesses choose to frame their Christmas sales events.
You'll frequently see bonuses being offered, as a 'gift' for giving the business your patronage. A nice little thank you, which can go quite a long way in both establishing customer loyalty, and encouraging positive word-of-mouth.
BOGO deals (buy one, get one free) are also very popular this time of year, so that you can get one for yourself and another as a present for someone else. If you can tap into the customers' desire to be selfless around the holidays, while also giving them a good deal (or saving them some money on gifts for others), they'll be more likely to return to your business again in the future.
However you choose to frame your Christmas seasonal promotions, be sure to put these elements of family and giving at the forefront.
If you’d like some more suggestions, we’ve got some other fantastic In-store Promotion Ideas.
Halloween may not be what most people think of when they're first discussing possible seasonal promotions, but to overlook this annual event would be a huge mistake.
Actually, Halloween might be one of the easiest holidays that you can leverage to get your customers actively involved in your promotions.
Photo contests are an easy way to engage customers for events like this. Plus, if you make sure to include permissions for use in their entry, this is a great way to have customers make some marketing materials for you; instead of vice versa.
Ask your customers to highlight one of your products in a picture with their costume choices for the year. The results are sure to fall in line with the spooky spirit of the season, and they can make wonderful additions to your Fall marketing materials for years to come.
Feature some of the best submissions on your site, or print posters for your brick-and-mortar locations, and those customers will feel like brand representatives for you. They'll also likely want to show off their chosen submission to all their friends and family.
Talk about harnessing positive word-of-mouth!
Of course, we couldn't talk about seasonal promotions without bringing up Mother's Day.
Mother's Day is a unique holiday, because it's applicable to so many people from such different walks of life. Unlike Christmas or Easter, there is no single religion or culture that celebrates this wonderful day we use to celebrate the maternal figures in our lives.
More than that, entire industries have embraced Mother's Day as a staple of everything they stand for (we're looking at you florists and chocolatiers).
Due to its popularity, running a seasonal promotion for Mother's Day can be a great way to take advantage of all the positive energy surrounding the holiday.
Running draws for lavish prizes that most people can't afford to buy for their mothers is an incredibly useful tactic for drawing customer engagement. Fine dining meals, spa treatments, manicures, pedicures, and salon visits are just a few ideas that frequently draw a lot of attention.
There are lots of ways that you can manage your contests. Previously, we’ve discussed some great ways to frame these types of promotions, including some really engaging Contest Prize Ideas, which we’d love to share with you.
Not all seasonal promotions need to be centered around a holiday; some of them are actually based in the seasons of the year.
We're sure that you've seen businesses running 'Summer Sales', focusing a lot of their attention on sun, surf, and often, sand. Summer fun always seems to get lumped in either with a day at the beach, or in some cases camping life.
Typically, a lot of these promotions focus on being outdoors. When the weather is good, many of us choose to spend extended time outdoors, so it makes sense that we would often associate these promotions with the good times we enjoy during the fairer months of the year.
If you have products or services that are designed to be used outdoors, summer seasonal promotions are a great way to put them at the forefront of your inventory. Framed enticingly, this can be a smart way to move some of your less popular products, without having to take them at a loss or leave them taking up space on your shelves indefinitely.
Also, June does boast one of the Holidays that doesn't get quite as much marketing attention as others - Father's Day.
Unlike Mother's Day, which has a huge presence in the Spring and drives a lot of attention from a wide array of industries, Father's Day tends to be a quieter affair, at least for many industries.
This lull in attention is something your business could take advantage of; especially if you’d like to run a more poignant mid-year promotion, rather than simply doing a generic summer sale.
Another often overlooked consideration is that some of the same tactics that work well on Mother's Day can be repurposed to focus on fathers. Contrary to what you might think, a lot of dads would love a free dinner out, or a professional massage at the spa.
After all, you can only use so many ties.
Timing a promotion properly is a crucial part of designing effective marketing strategies. You don't want promotions to be too long or too short, and you want to offer something that's going to get your customers' attention.
Sometimes that means trying things out before you really jump in with both feet. It gives you the opportunity to hammer out some of the obstacles you might not have expected to encounter.
With that in mind, we'd love for you to check out our newest service 'Horizon', completely free of charge. All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think once you've had the chance to test it out.
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