It may just be us, but it feels like the time we’ve been waiting for all year: the holidays and the end of 2020. It’s a special, yet interesting, season when we are getting creative about new ways to celebrate annual traditions and showing love to friends, family, and fellow teammates.
For brands, this has also historically been the time to show off why your products or services make for the perfect gifts to help boost those sales before the end of the year. Despite the financial hardships consumers have faced this year due to the impact of COVID-19, trends are showing the holiday spending hasn’t slowed down. This year on Black Friday alone, U.S. brands and retailers saw $12.8B in digital revenue, a 23% growth compared to 2019 according to Salesforce.
There isn’t a single formula for being successful during the holiday season, but whether you’re a new brand or you’ve been around the holiday block a few times, here are some guidelines to consider in the weeks ahead:
Ask yourself what customers want this season.
Start off by taking a few moments to listen to your audiences. Dig into those analytics, browse through comments on social media, and read your customer reviews to reacclimate yourself with why people have loved your brand, products, or services this year.
- Have they brought them comfort or fulfilled a need?
- Helped them automate a daily task?
- Created connections with their loved ones?
Also, take a look at your industry and how other brands position themselves. Ask yourself if you’re doing the best you can to share what makes your brand unique.
Consider the direct and indirect benefits your products or services can offer. After all, it is the season of giving.
Whether emotionally or rationally driven, there’s a reason for each customer’s purchase. Outline the immediate value your products or services offer customers–an approachable price-point, that special bottle of wine, or perfect go-to ingredient for weeknight meals. Then consider what else customers could enjoy by purchasing from you. These can include:
- Offering a digital or virtual version of your service, or an easier delivery method
- Including a special surprise in your online orders to give some TLC to the gift giver themself
- A give-back program that donates to a cause with every purchase.
Think about what your customers would care most about. 46% of U.S. customers prefer to shop at businesses that align with their values, so look for ways to share your values clearly and honestly with them.
Remember to connect.
It’s more than simply making people aware that your brand exists, but reminding them why your brand is worth supporting. Share why you’re excited about certain products or services, and what your process was for creating them. If you’re a small or family-owned business, get online and share the faces of those that are making the behind the scenes magic happen. People are home and media consumption is up, making this a perfect time for you to connect directly with the people who support your brand.
This is also an opportunity to think about how your brand can go above and beyond for those that want to support you. Show you understand that customers might be behind their holiday gift shopping and offer an extended discount promotion, or give a few tips on what to give their brother, sister, partner, or friends. Do you have an earlier deadline for orders to be received before the holiday? Strategize ways you can still help customers provide the gift-giving experience on time, like a special card, even if the gift itself will arrive in a few days or weeks.
Lastly, look beyond just December and get ready for 2021.
We know that most things in 2020 have not gone as expected, and the idea of long-term planning could make a few heads spin. However, in the spirit of the upcoming new year, reflect on the reason why your brand exists, the direct and indirect value of your products or services, and strategize ways to communicate these in the year ahead. With consumers changing the way they interact with and support brands, now is the time to think beyond just transactions and focus on your brand’s relationships with them.