Christmas is a time for giving, and in recent years has become a time for bombarding potential customers with an overload of advertising. The question many people ask themselves is how they can stand out in the crowded marketplace.
The answer is simple. What can you do that no one else does?
You must connect with your customer without selling them something. Christmas is a time when you should be aiming at building a loyal following that wants to buy from you because you are you not because of what discount they can get.
Christmas is the time we give the gifts to our customers. We show them how much we appreciate their clientele and referrals. When it comes to creative Christmas marketing ideas, a lot of businesses think only in terms of ‘Xmas Sales’, as a result, they discount their products to boost short-term sales.
Here’s a couple of ways you can engender the spirit of Christmas so your name stays on the mind of your customers.
Gift giving – Rather than giving a discount to your regular customers, have you considered giving them a gift? If you’re a café, you can give your regulars a gingerbread man or shortbread with their coffee order. If you’re a retail store, a gift voucher or even a freebie item could be given. Yes, these all cost you money (but so does advertising) BUT you get more back than advertising gives you in the long term. You will have a customer who remembers you gave them something nice and cared for them at a time when many people are harried and stressed.
The personal touch – No, I don’t mean hugging your customers, I mean taking the time if you send out orders to put a hand written Christmas card in the order thanking them and wishing their family a happy festive season. Take a few extra minutes with your customers to show them you appreciate them. Appreciation leads to loyalty. Loyalty leads to long term buying.
Be human – I know this sounds odd. But in the age of social media, we’re all so busy trying to be professional we forget we’re actually human. If you’re out Christmas shopping, snap a selfie and show your followers where you are. If you’re heading to a Christmas party, show your followers you let your hair down too. Christmas is the time we get to have fun. We can sing along with the Christmas carols in our stores and dance like no one’s watching during December and people will join in with us. Your goal with this is to offer stress relief. Stress relief when we’re all so busy trying to get ahead on our work so we can have a break or trying to find the perfect gift will go a long way.
As Christmas gets closer, start planning how you want to market your business. Make sure your staff are on board so your business can present a united front to customers so you can build loyalty with current customers and turn one off buyers into long term buyers.
Written by Kira Duff
Small Business Association of Australia