With October now in the rearview mirror we are officially in the thick of the holiday season. Before you know it, you’ll be waking up on a brisk January morning covered in sugar cookie crumbs, hugging an empty bottle of Fireball like a MyPillow, and asking yourself what you are doing with your life–but until then, there is work to be done. The holidays, or more generally speaking: October, November, & December (OND), represent for most industries the climax of their annual sales. It is a notably important time of year for those of us in the promotional staffing industry, but why? The simple answer is camaraderie and connection. The holiday season is defined by our interconnectivity with loved ones and peers, but let’s face it, here in the U.S. it’s also about buying stuff. Hiring promotional agencies brings the two worlds together more effectively than most traditional marketing strategies.
Seasonal promotions offer an effective and simple appeal to consumer emotions, but plastering pumpkins and snowflakes on labels and ad campaigns won’t alone set businesses apart from their competition. OND gives them a chance to get in touch with their consumers on a face-to-face level more so than most other times of the year because people, willing or not, will be out in stores in full force. Promotional staffing agencies such as ourselves at Modern Talent are tasked with connecting businesses & products with those consumers.
A couple of key advantages that hiring a promotional staffing agency can provide to businesses are 1) drawing consumers in, but equally as important, 2) being able to share their personal experiences with products. If you have ever been Holiday shopping without a list, which is likely 99% of us, it is awfully helpful to have some positive feedback on a prospective gift you’d like to buy for a loved one. For many consumers the holiday season is also an event, and an enjoyable, fun experience at a promotional booth could be just the push they need to buy a product. They call it “holiday cheer” for a reason–people are giddy and want to engage with products/people, so engage back!
Modern Talent specializes in the adult beverage industry, which is extremely lucrative throughout OND. Just as our cravings for food change with the seasons, as do our cravings for cocktails. Of course, with all of the time we will be spending with family, we are also going to need some help surviving the get-togethers. Oh, and then there’s winter. Anyways, back to the point. In the alcohol and adult beverage industry there is an increasingly limited amount of shelf space for brands to utilize and stick out amongst the competition, even with the use of seasonal branding tactics. The craft industry has done a fantastic job of leveling the playing field in the aisles, so to go along with gift-based marketing and branding, providing samples and engaging with consumers has become a necessity. What better way to embrace the holidays than to give out some new product? Brand ambassadors and promotional models generally receive extensive training with the clients and products they work with (ours do at least) and can also appeal to consumer emotions in a way that labels cannot.
As much as we’d all like to think that our spending habits are based on rational thought, the reality is that our initial reactions and decisions are primarily emotionally driven and we rationalize them after the fact. Appealing to themes like “t’is the season for giving” or “home for the holidays” are great for bridging the gap between simply selling product and creating connections and communities with consumers. The internet has created wonderful possibilities for consumer participation in recent years, but as we’ve said before and will continue to say over and over, nothing can compare to positive face-to-face experience with consumers.
Seasonal beer selections are a great example of how restaurants and bars keep their menus fresh and feature products that may not be well-known or mainstays. Positioning a brand ambassador in such an establishment is a great way to build on the excitement of a new flavor or style and get people tasting, talking about, and buying product. The great thing about restaurant and bar promotions is that people are generally showing up ready to engage, so as promotional staff we just need to initiate.
During the holiday season, especially for the younger markets, point-of-sale marketing strategies and price/volume discounts can also be difficult to combat for smaller producers. Brands need to find ways to make their product more about the experience and community than the price point, if they want to compete with larger competitors. This is why they turn to us for help. By staffing local talent and providing extensive training, we help our clients create that comforting and friendly atmosphere around their products and drive sales.
As part of the holiday spirit, our gift to you are these 5 tips for creating an effective OND campaign:
- Hire a team that has your best interests in mind and is equally invested in making your holiday campaign a success as you are.
- Generate a personalized campaign by allowing customers to be a part of your marketing strategy by including photos of them with your product, engaging with them on social media and using their testimonials to promote your product.
- Hit key emotions such as friendship, gratitude and giving.
- Include deals when possible.
- Be consistent with your message throughout all marketing channels.