Posted by Brittany on November 27, 2019
Nothing stirs us up quite like walking through our local mall to experience the decked halls and Santa displays, meer hours after Halloween. While some might find this experience dreadful, others sincerely celebrate that the holiday season is upon us.
Upon us it is, and this phenomenon of “the season” starting earlier and earlier is undeniable. In fact, it is the carefully calculated efforts of corporations and marketing teams, officially called the Christmas Creep.
The idea behind it is that the earlier we get into the holiday spirit, the more money we may be willing to spend from the culminating event of Black Friday right through to Boxing Day. And while the kick-off to the season of spending might be here loud and clear, that doesn’t necessarily mean us consumers are listening.
Let’s be honest- all of us are getting a slew of marketing emails, 365 days a year. On shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can bet that you will be hearing from just about every brand you subscribe to. That’s a lot of emails, the majority of which, won’t be opened, won’t be read and won’t result in the end goal - a conversion.
So what’s a brand to do?
Beyond starting early so your campaign has the luxury of being well thought through, the first step to cutting through the clutter of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to identify your goals.
Is it to strictly discount and sell?
Is it to launch a new product?
Is it to share your brand’s charitable commitments?
Is it to be thought-provoking and inspiring?
For many brands, this may be obvious, but consider the investment that goes into producing impactful Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns - could all of this effort be a means for something bigger?
Speak to your audience
The difference between a campaign that resonates and a campaign that flops often comes down to how well brands know their audience. Consumers are Black Friday literate. They understand there are deals to be had and most do their research. Get the wheels turning by asking:
What motivates my audience?
How can I talk to my audience to bypass consumer fatigue?
How can I position a promotion into the bigger brand story?
Forget what you know
Sometimes the best strategy is to forget what you know and just take a risk. Here are a few brands that took a risk and went down in history for their “anti-consumerism” messaging:
Campaign: Don’t Buy This Jacket
Summary: Patagonia encourages people to support their environmental efforts by signing up to ‘The Common Threads Initiative’, a call to buy only what you need, repair what breaks, and re-use or recycle everything else.
Campaign: The Ultimate Black Friday Experience
Summary: Cards Against Humanity took their entire store offline and put up a simple payment form where people could pay $5 for absolutely nothing in return.
Summary: Since 2015 REI has closed their stores on Black Friday and encouraged everyone to opt-out of Black Friday and to #OutOutside give back instead.