It goes without saying that commercialism of the holiday season is at an all time high. One needs no further proof of this than the REI Black Friday announcement, the TJ Maxx commercial on being closed on Thanksgiving or the Starbucks holiday cup discussion. From Twitter to CNN, everyone seems to have their own opinion on how businesses should handle the holidays and advertise to them.
The topic of the “War on Christmas” seems to be a hot button or easy media content to fuel discussion among the masses during these last few weeks of the year. However, it isn’t the War on Christmas brands and consumers should pay attention to, but it is the War in Christmas Marketing. The war is in what brand will be the most memorable and what emotions will they evoke. Who will rise to the top with the most sales? For this time of year, it is all out war for the mighty dollar. For the companies who have not focused on creativity, relevance and agility, they can expect to lose once again this holiday season.
I must say the way Dunkin’ Donuts joined the conversation on seasonal holiday cups was a boss move. It was the coup de grace to the other coffee industry giants. Whether it is decorations or advertisements, this is the season for marketing departments everywhere to pull out all of the stops. As we see, they are doing just that.
The great thing about marketing in today’s world is we now have the ability to be nimble with our efforts. The chance to take creativity and join it with relevant discussions from an agile stance. Technology through the internet and mobile phones allows brands to successfully reach consumers in minutes instead of days. Social media has given brands the ability to publish content whenever they see fit. Waiting for the annual catalog to drop or a host of commercials to run is no longer the primary thing for businesses. A simple text message on sales and people are immediately taken online to shop. And in war, being quick to strike helps to gain small or large victories. These catalogs and commercials help and of course have not gone anywhere, but when you have Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Android systems, you can obtain feedback sooner and tweak messaging at a faster rate now (i.e. newsjack).
Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts have proven they are not afraid to get into the conversation. The War on Christmas was not going to be a missed opportunity for them to experience an easy win in the War in Christmas Marketing. (Truly Starbucks should have predicted this one based on the #AllDayBreakfast promotion McDonald’s ran in October which I mentioned in the “How to Hijack a Hashtag Like a Boss” post.) Besides, why not take advantage of a topic occurring in your industry about a competitor? It is very difficult to cut through all of the holiday noise and stand out. One must grab the media’s attention while they can, right? A cup of Joy fit into the conversation perfectly and a victory in the war was attained.
There are only so many ways to make a toy store stand out against a big box store. There are only so many ways to make sweaters stand out from brand to brand. This War in Christmas Marketing calls for creating great content, but taking strategic steps to stand out at the right moments. The road map to holiday victory comes with successes, just barely getting by and massive explosions (crises) which injures brands. However, with a dynamic strategy, brands can still win.
The War in Christmas Marketing is not taken lightly for the retail industry. Black Friday and Cyber Monday may help set the pace for the remaining weeks.
How do you feel the War in Christmas Marketing is going thus far? Leave your comment below and it may be used for future articles.
Above Promotions is a digital marketing and public relations agency with B2C clients that promote brands in the food, fashion and family entertainment industries. We build and protect brands by creating and executing digital resources to sell products or build positive public sentiment. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visithttp://www.abovepromotions.com today.
Ebony T. Grimsley-Vaz is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.