Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back - which means it’s the holiday season! From now until December (actually, January with CNY), we’ll start to see a gradual uptake in festive offerings. As a business, this is the most opportune time of year to generate sales, retain existing customers and attract new buyers.
This is actually one of my favourite times of the year - maybe it’s nostalgia, having grown up in America where memories of autumn (or as we call it ‘fall’) include knit sweaters, marshmallows, Thanksgiving and jumping into piles of fallen leaves in their rustic hues.
But I know I’m not the only one who gets the “warm and fuzzies” this time of year. This is the season when moods are lifted and shopping (amount of spend, and frequency of spend) are on the increase.
Social media will gradually fill with ideas for gifting, dining out/celebrating, festive outfits, decor inspiration, and so on. So the question is: how will your brand stand out from the rest?
Customarily, Christmas decor already is on display this time of year in department stores in Europe, UK and America. In Malaysia, the shopping malls start to display from the start of November - which means holiday-edition gifts, makeup palettes, you name it, will be stocked on shelves by this time.
So as a small business owner - you should aim to get your Christmas promo launched by early November.
Ideas are boundless, but make sure to filter with the following 5 questions to ask yourself:
Plan your launch date and work backwards:
4 weeks before
3 weeks before
2 weeks before
1 week before
‘Tis the season for gifting! Host a social media giveaway with easy mechanics that will encourage repost/share of your post (brand exposure) and tagging friends in comments (to increase engagement and attract new followers).
Amp up your customer service training. Prepare your frontliners to be able to answer any questions that customers may throw at them - How many cookies are in this jar? Is this candle made from soy wax? Can I show you a photo of my boyfriend so you can tell me what size he would wear?
Prepare a customer service training manual and train, train, train - before your festive campaign launches, and also run weekly refreshers throughout the season. Encourage your team/staff to share any questions or situations they find difficult to handle, so you can help them navigate and troubleshoot - then share the learnings with the rest of the team.
Consider creating a Guide on Instagram for all those FAQs to take some pressure off your social media team so they can focus on other tasks (which will be just as important).
As I said, this is my favourite time of year - prepare in advance so you can still stop and smell the gingerbread amidst the holiday hustle. All the best!
Be well, stay safe.