Stand out this holiday season with these promotional ideas

Stand Out This Holiday Season With These 5 Holiday Promotion Ideas

Did you know that in 2017, U.S. retailers made $7.9 billion on Black Friday and another $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday alone?

Those are some impressively big numbers right there. The road to your share of those numbers can be rough. There’s lots of noise and competition.

How do you stand apart from all of the marketing ploys out there?

You should connect with your clients and employees in a warm, genuine and personal way. The festive holiday season is a time for sharing and giving.

When the market is crowded with ads, you want promotions with staying power in the heart. Get in front of the latest trends with our best ever holiday promotional ideas.

Read on to learn more.

1. Celebrate the Holidays- All of Them

The festive season now begins the minute back to school is packed away. Filled football stands and autumn weather leads into October’s Spooky buildup. October is the perfect time to experiment with social media channels.

Visual media is king. Think platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. All are places engage and inspire your clients and employees. Keep things upbeat, but culturally relevant.

Although you might already be thinking about the end of the year gifts, October is the time to celebrate spooky, kooky and fun in the most light-hearted manner possible. Think about Instagram impact gifts like eye-catching apparel or reflective treat bags. Encourage people to show off their gear!

Try promo prizes with a purpose. Retweet a message, share and like, etc. for a chance to win. It doesn’t have to be a big or major item. We’re told reusable nylon shopping bags or treat buckets have a big following in October.

2. Be Thankful

Avoid the end of year gift scramble with Thanksgiving promo items. What better way to express thanks than with a gift in the holiday spirit at the beginning of the season. Tie in ongoing social media engagement to increase your brand power and engage hearts.

Think gifts for a festive table, gifts tied to charitable causes and other #thanks hashtag themes. It’s a great way to avoid a crowded Christmas marketing message as well as to show customer appreciation. For those people with clients who find Christmas a problem, the Thanksgiving holiday is a neutral, noncontroversial choice.

Gifts like a logo blanket can show appreciation and tie-in to a donation to homeless veterans or other local cause. Stadium blankets and the like are excellent for their long life and use.

3. Sustainable and Green Gifts

The trend in gift giving is a transition to experiential gifts instead of material. The key is to focus on the interactive, social experience. Migrate to sustainable gifts by strengthening the experience and emotion.

Your goal is to make a meaningful connection. A product that is sustainable, green and interactive is likely to inspire your customers. Start by offering choices of sustainable products or experiences to increase conversation time between you and your clients. It will increase the chances that they will remember you and your gift.

How?

A window cleaner can offer clients the choice between a microfiber duster made from recycled plastic or a clean water credit for a local watershed project. The promoter of the Turkey Day 5K run can offer sponsors a polar fleece sweater made from recycled plastic or a donation in their name to an organization saving polar bears.

Thinking ahead, every time your client engages with your gift, they will think of you and your company. A winning combination for everyone!

4. Choosing Sustainable Holiday Promotional Items

When you choose a material gift or a token souvenir to go with an experience, here are some guidelines to help you make better choices.

  • Choose quantities carefully
  • Evaluate the green features of the product, its manufacture, and distribution
  • Choose third-party certified
  • Durability, design, and value

When you choose a physical gift, choose your quantities carefully to avoid waste. Given the environmental cost of manufacturing, shipping, imprinting and then distributing your gifts, the last thing you want is a landfill full of them!

Evaluate the green features. Your gift might not be all of these features but you want as many of these attributes as possible.

  • Recyclable, reusable or refillable
  • Biodegradable
  • Battery-free or rechargeable
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Free from environmental or human health dangers
  • Minimal packaging
  • Least harmful inks, glues, metals
  • Locally produced, minimal transit
  • Social enterprise produced, child labor-free certified

Where possible, choose items that are third-party certified. For example, products certified by Green Seal meet stringent environmental, performance and health standards. Other types of products choose other types of certifications.

If you look at the top gifts of 2018, notice how many of the items are durable, well-designed and still in use! Think about the emotional pull. Gift giving is about connection, right? How do you tie your gift to a feeling?

5. Christmas and Holiday Promotions

Stand out during the crowded holiday season with your thoughtful promotional gifts. Use solid psychological principles to drive your decision-making. The same principles that drive everyday marketing are super-fueled during the holiday frenzy.

1. Personalize Products and Messages

It’s a season for sharing and giving. Think about content as well as physical gifts. People like sharing things that add social currency value to their network.

Everyone places a greater sense of value on things that are personalized. Appeal to vanity and self-identity with personal relevance. This increases the emotional response with the brand.

You can often pay a little extra and have individual names engraved on items – almost everyone LOVES their name. You want to strengthen their emotional tie to your brand. Keep your brand personal and relevant.

2. Appeal to Holiday Emotions

The holiday season is a happy time of year. Use the intense emotions of the season to encourage sharing on social media. Who can resist that they feel more buoyant and excitable around the holidays?

No surprise, but happy people make more memories and are likely to purchase more. Capture the moments of swelling sentiment with a festive gift. For example, look at personalized ornaments. Not quite right for your organization?

How about a digital photo frame or memory stick? Use cheerful nostalgia and warm associations to your advantage.

3. Build up Buzz

Is an Advent calendar part of your holiday tradition? For those unfamiliar with the German tradition, it is a calendar countdown to Christmas, usually with a sweet treat to open each day. Modern spins have whiskey, jewelry or dog treats behind the dates.

Build up your gift excitement by getting your clients to anticipate the rewards of the next day or next order. Build up to your actual gift giving by leading up to your holiday reveal announcement. Or try to offer daily discounts on products or give customers a free hint or two for their present.

The buzz psychologically encourages people to sit up and notice. Encourage people to talk about their anticipated gift. Consider a small reward

4. Make Your Gifts in a Small Window

Too early or too late Christmas season gifts get lost in the shuffle. Frame your promo items in a narrow time window. People are psychologically averse to loss, especially during the holidays.

If people know there is a limited amount of time attached to your promo gift, they are more likely to engage, rather than lose the opportunity. Try a social media countdown or something similar. This is an excellent time to use a “12 Days of Christmas” social media promo!

5. Appeal to Fair-Play and Reciprocity

The Christmas and holiday season comes with the tradition of gift exchange. Behind these universal gestures of love and magnanimity, the psychological principle of reciprocity is hard at work.

Reciprocity is the principle that when a person receives a gift they feel compelled to return the gesture. In some form, clients return your generous gesture with one of their own. They might make a purchase from a valued brand that has given them good feelings or refer a new client.

The most successful gift-giving is offered first. Offering value first is what triggers the need to “give back” something in return. It feels authentic and promotes conversation.

Making the Connection

Consumers are overwhelmed with messages during the holiday season. Your holiday promotional items must cut through the noise and distractions of the season. Use personal, unique and sustainable gifts to make an impression.

The buzzwords to remember for a successful sales season are genuine, value and emotional. You want to be their choice during the holidays. Build on feelings of anticipatory excitement and nostalgia.

Use less-crowded holidays to experiment with messages and build excitement. Lead with experiences over objects. Choose objects with sustained utility over less durable goods.

Finally, remember that people all are motivated in similar ways. Create your holiday promotional campaigns to appeal to proven psychological principles. For expert help in promotions that work, contact us today.

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Patrick Black
patrick@perfectimprints.com

Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of Perfectimprints.com and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.