The War In Christmas Marketing

The War in Christmas Marketing - Social Media - Branding
The War in Christmas Marketing - Social Media - Branding
The War in Christmas Marketing. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. 2015

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Moving Forward

The National Guard
Image from Creative Commons. Above Promotions Company. Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Tampa, FL. 2015

 

For the past couple of weeks across the nation we have been watching the tragedy of the peaceful protests turn to riots in Baltimore.

During this time a lot of criticism has been made towards Baltimore officials on if they waited too long to send for help, or if they somehow allowed this to happen. One quote made by Baltimore Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, has been construed by many to think she hoped the rioters would let off steam and then stop when they’d had enough. Stephanie said, “It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” However, following all the criticism she later went on to say “I never said nor would I ever say that we are giving people space to destroy our city, so my words should not be twisted,” but by this time she was already seen in a bad way.

However, what’s said was said and what’s done is done. From here it is important for the city of Baltimore to band together, and to show that the world that there are people who still care about their city. Already hash-tags have been started, like #OneBaltimore and #BaltimoreUnited to show the supporters of their city doing what they can to help. What happened in Baltimore can be a teachable lesson for every business and city.  If such a tragedy is to happen it is important to come together as a united front and build back what once was.

In a crisis it is vital to be careful of what you say, and to think of the impact it will have on someone from the outside looking in. Having a set plan for different crisis scenarios could make this step essential because you will already have gone through the possible causes and effects of the crisis. In the case that this does not work be sure not to give up, but to keep moving forward so that your business can once again make it out on top.

What are some vital brand management tips you pulled from the situation in Baltimore? What would you have done differently? Share them in a comment below, and your response could be used for a future article.

 

 

Crisis Management for Unimaginable Tragedies

germanwings above promotions company 2015
Image from Creative Commons. Above Promotions Company. Digital Marketing and Public Relations. Tampa, FL. 2015

 

 

When it comes to tragedies like the Germanwings flight 9529 crash it is nearly impossible to see it coming. It truly is unimaginable in the eyes of many. These types of tragedies take a hard hit on everyone , and people want answers. People want to understand why a person would do such a thing. Officials and the public want to know how this could have been prevented. Unlike an employee leaving a spill on a ground and a brand taking an obvious hit in the area of negligence, a tragedy of this nature leaves for very little room to discuss preventative measures and liability.

Whether you can prevent a tragedy from happening or not, as a company, it is your job to find answers and help the public try to understand the situation. It is no small task, but these 3 steps can help make it a doable one.

  1. It is important to have a plan already in place. It is just as important to be proactive, not just reactive. In truth, no one knows what tomorrow holds, so think of all the things that could possibly go wrong. Then try to think of the best plan of action for each scenario. Also, have set medians of media you will go to depending on the severity of the crisis. Chose a spokesperson to present to the public.
  2. Respond as quickly as possible, but also as careful as possible. When in crisis mode things start happening fast, and you need to be ready. This is where your plan of action will come in handy. The quicker you can get the ball rolling the public will be able to see you are on top of things. However, don’t move so quickly an even bigger mess is made. Be careful, and communicate with your team.
  3. Be Honest. Telling the public the truth as you learn new information will make them feel you are figuring this out together. While not being honest will make it look like you have something to hide. Not only will this be bad for your brand while the crisis is happening, but afterwards the public may have trouble trusting you. Honesty and openness can go a long way.

Preparing for a crisis like this is hopefully something you’re company will never have to do. However, you should be sure to take steps such as these listed above for the sake of not only your company, but the public who will need you to lead in that time.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families and those impacted directly through this tragedy. Mental illness is a disease which should be taken seriously. Please consider supporting organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Click here to learn more about them.

Are there any steps you would take in an unimaginable tragedy not mentioned here? Share them in a comment below. Your responses could be used for a future article.

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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. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Althea Tyrell is a spring intern with Above Promotions Company. She is a student with the University of South Florida.