ATYPICAL

How Can You Add Holiday Sparkle to Build Your Brand

Amanda Bowen
The scent of pumpkin spice latte, the sounds of the Monster Mash, and the sight of golden leaves. Fall is here and it's time to prepare your holiday marketing campaigns.

The scent of pumpkin spice latte, the sounds of the Monster Mash, and sight of golden leaves. Fall is here and it's time to prepare your holiday marketing campaigns. Seasonal campaigns are a fun way to help your brand reach a new audience. Where holiday-themed campaigns go wrong is when they get go too far making the messaging about the holiday and not the brand. Everything we do, even when it’s trying to jump on the bandwagon, must add to brand recognition and reputation. Apply these six tips to use the holiday season the right way to promote your brand.

#1-Start planning your messaging now

The last thing you want is to rush your marketing message, but that easily happens as the Holidays approach. Right now the big day is two months away, but in a blink of an eye, it'll be two weeks away. Don't wait until December to come up with your holiday messaging. You know that month is a craze of one last push for sales before the year-end closing, laying the plans for next year, holiday parties, shopping, and more. Come up with your theme and your messaging now so you can get it done before the time is precious.

#2-Highlight the best of your brand values

Never re-create your entire brand messaging just for the holidays. Your messaging is you 24/7; you’re simply dressing it in a Christmas sweater.

If the brand uses a particular voice in their social media, blogs and other marketing, keep using it. Don't randomly change from a sassy to sappy.It confuses people.

Go back to your branding guide. Pull the brand values you want to make sure you keep in your holiday-themed messages and campaigns.

Need an idea to about staying in line with brand values? REI’s #OPTOutside campaign made huge waves when the brand announced it would keep all its stores closed for Black Friday. It’s a movement completely aligned with brand values, which is about spending time in the outdoors.

#3-Stay aligned with your visual branding guide

It's not uncommon to see brands add some holiday fair to their logos. There's nothing wrong with updating your brand look to feel more festive, but you shouldn't be pinned down to using green and red for Christmas. The same consistency you have with tone and voice carries through to the visual look of the brand. There are various ways to use seasonally festive colors and imagery that still match your brand vibe. Find something that makes sense for your brand and your customers.

#4-Back to consistency

As we've said time and time again, consistency matters when it comes to creating and maintaining a brand. This is true throughout the holidays. If you're going to do something special with your branding look, like updating a logo, you've got to update it at every customer touchpoint so there's consistency when customers interact with you.  

#5-Messaging that resonates

So we've talked about being consistent with current brand values, your existing visual and vocal identity, and maintaining across your platforms. What exactly can you say to make an impact during the holiday season?

Essentially there's five common themes used in special holiday messages:

●    Thank you: This campaign focuses on giving back and making people feel appreciated. This could include sending thank you cards to loyal clientele or highlighting how people have impacted you throughout the course of the year.

●    Nostalgia: Create campaigns that bring up happier memories from childhood associated with this time of year.

●    Reward clientele: Offer a special gift or discount to your best customers. People are primed to look for specials during this time of year.

●    Put a spin on a tradition: Take a holiday tradition and put unique spin on it.  One example is a Lagavulin holiday marketing campaign that used comedian Nick Offerman drinking whiskey soundly in front of a fireplace. It's a parody on the Yule Log videos popular on YouTube.

●    Get customers involved: Much our marketing work nowadays is about bringing our clients into the marketing experience. It's a way of personalizing it for them. The Starbucks once asked people to create their own designs on top of their red cup and share them on social media.

Whatever creative way you decide to incorporate holiday themes into your brand, be thoughtful and purposeful. ATYPICAL looks for ways to put a spin on something people are familiar with. What better time of year to experiment with your messaging than the next two months?

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