By Lisa Major
With the most wonderful time of the year just around the corner, many companies will capitalize on the holidays to create brand relevancy for the season. Of course, some are naturally better positioned than others, but every brand has the opportunity to build connections during this lucrative season with the right strategy.
Strategies that focus on customers and their needs over what goals need to be hit by December 31 will see the most success. Experiential marketing prioritizes customers by offering them a genuine and heartfelt experience – experiences that engage them in meaningful ways that make a mark. That said, using experiential marketing during an already joyous season is a win-win for brands and consumers.
First, knowing what value your brand adds to a customer’s holiday season is essential. Convenience? Stress-relief? Celebration or togetherness? It’s okay if there is no easy answer. With experiential marketing, having a brand presence simply to spread holiday cheer is sometimes all that is needed to make a positive impression. Consider sending a street team out into the hustle and bustle of the holidays to smile, greet, and offer help where they can. It’s best to aim to spread cheer first and the brand messaging second. If the first personal impression is a positive one, the brand message will be well received.
Understanding your target consumers often means understanding their cultural norms and traditions during times of celebration. And while a few central themes cross cultures, tapping into the lesser-known traditions lends significant credibility to your brand. Especially if you’ve zeroed in on a specific audience and done the work to align the brand’s value to their ethos. That’s one reason why hiring multicultural brand ambassadors makes such an impact against experiential goals. A diverse team has the innate ability to connect with audiences by sharing the heart, history, and fondness of the customs your brand wishes to celebrate alongside them.
As wonderful as they are, the holidays can also be hectic and stressful for some. Just ask any parent of school-aged children in December. Brands looking to align their experiential marketing strategies to the holidays might consider how brand activations can be a respite for customers. For example, activations offering free gift-wrapping or complimentary chair massages are huge perks that consumers will appreciate. An activation that focuses on what the customer truly needs (more time, fewer to-dos, less stress) are a great solution for brands that a) don’t have an easy holiday positioning or b) understand an aggressive marketing push may be poorly received during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Much like the customer-focused activations mentioned above, brands have an opportunity to promote initiatives that resonate with customers on a much deeper level during the season of giving. Because experiential marketing humanizes brands, it is a fantastic channel to align with social and charitable efforts. When brands deliver an impactful in-person message of commitment, pride, and corporate responsibility, it makes an impression on consumers that they won’t soon forget.
Holiday marketing sometimes gets a bad rap for capitalizing on and proliferating the commercialization of the season. But experiential marketing can counteract that opinion by delivering a brand message of cheer, celebration, and giving through personal, human-to-human interactions.
When experiential is a part of your holiday marketing strategy, ATN Event Staffing equips you with brand ambassadors that will foster brand loyalty and engagement.
ATN delivers professional experiential marketing talent to execute brand activations at high-profile events and high-traffic locations. Our expertise makes the hiring process a seamless part of campaign planning for one or multiple markets. For two decades, our partners have come to expect high-caliber solutions and exceptional customer service.
If you’re planning a holiday activation, we would love to chat!