How to Prevent Holiday-Itis from Sickening Your Small Business
It’s called “The Holiday Season” – a time of joy and love and merriment, extending from Thanksgiving through
New Years in the United States. We watch movies that unfold like Kodak moments, complete with gently falling snow and hot chocolate around the perfect hearth. We sing songs about the wonders of the season that invoke feelings of loving family and friends joined together in peace-on-earth-goodwill-to-men (and women).
Yet in the world of business The Holiday Season is anything but gentle and kind. Instead it has become frantic and intense, filled with pressure to sell – to take advantage of the buying frenzy fueled by consumerism that has invaded our culture at this time of year. Even companies with the most solid marketing and messaging foundation often feel they cannot help but get caught up in the negative momentum to do more – market more – sell more. There is a great fear of loss associated with jumping on The Holiday Season sales bandwagon, but is it really the right move for your business?
You’ve worked hard all year to develop and implement a solid sales and marketing foundation. Ideally you have clarified your message, your methods and your audience. Your marketing goals and action steps have been designed to create growth, impact and income. Then comes The Holiday Season and the pressure causes you to be afraid and maybe even greedy. After all, this is the time of year that Americans wake up at 2:00 AM to stand on cold dark streets to buy at a discount, products they have been eyeing all year long. You do not want to be left out or miss an opportunity to increase your sales (says the little voice in your head).
Yet for most small businesses, the consumer shopping frenzy is not aimed directly at their product category. For those who do deal in consumer goods like kitchen appliances, electronics, toys and clothing one would hope you have built into your yearly marketing plan an authentic holiday marketing campaign that builds on the messaging of your brand year round. For the rest of us, in order to maintain not only our sanity, but the very crucial authenticity of our brand we must not succumb to the pressures but instead be strategic in how we market through The Holiday Season.
Holiday-Itis is defined by high anxiety-compelling social media posts and marketing blasts that feel inauthentic and out of line with your company’s normal communication strategy. It takes over for good judgment and compels falsely cheery delivery of marketing spam in the guise of a Holiday buying opportunity for one’s customers. To prevent Holiday-itis, plan for the The Holiday Season in your yearly marketing plan and keep it authentic and on-brand. If you haven’t done so by now, do your best not to get caught up in the swirling frantic energy of the season in a manner that causes you to lose sight of what’s most important, as you present your marketing and messaging to your audience. Maintain the real spirit of the holidays, in your day to day activities and in all your communication. Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all People.
This article, written by Deborah Tutnauer, originally appeared in the Kabbage.com 15 Weeks of Tips to Help You Survive and Thrive this Holiday Season