Early November already is upon us—that important tipping point when marketing professionals realize the holiday season is just around the corner.
Have you decided how to acknowledge the holidays with your company’s important contacts, including customers, prospects, partners and vendors?
If you want to forego the (*yawn*) traditional, off-the-shelf card or boring fruit basket this year, then try one of the inspired ideas listed below. Above all, make sure your holiday greeting represents your company’s culture, core values and brand message—and communicates holiday cheer in a creative yet tasteful manner.
1. Create a Custom Greeting Card
Several years ago, during my agency days, I convinced my company’s president to have all of our employees’ feet photographed while wearing colorful, crazy holiday socks. Then I worked with one of our graphic designers to create a one-of-a-kind foldout card. The final product featured a horizontal montage of the stocking-covered feet, and it was aptly titled (you guessed it) “Stocking Stuffers.” It was a fun way for our team to exhibit a bit of merriment, and it was in keeping with our image of being a creative agency.
2. Produce a Video
A brief video can deliver a powerful holiday punch when deftly concepted and executed. I really like this 2015 example from Campbell Ewald, which features a diverse array of people showing the universal sign for peace.
3. Develop an Infographic
A well-written, well-designed infographic incorporates colors, images, graphics and words to communicate details in an engaging manner. What could be more fun for the holidays? Find a way to connect the content to your business and brand, and the result will be info-tastic.
4. Send an Edible Treat
Picture it: a beautifully boxed holiday cookie with your brand message perfectly embossed in icing. Sweet!
5. Put Together a Holiday-Theme Book
Quite different from all the typical holiday cards, a book is sure to stand out to your target audiences. Just think of all the possibilities! For example, last year, the Britton Marketing & Design Group created a clever parody of the classic Goodnight Moon and titled it Goodnight Marketers. You can see the digital version here.
6. Create an Interactive Experience
Send a holiday greeting via email and include a link to an engaging landing page online. Would you like to see an example? Last year, R&R Partners developed a fun way to dress up a snowman. Play around with it here. (You know you want to.)
7. Send Cheers with a Charitable Twist
If done tastefully, this can be a lovely way to honor the spirit of the holiday season. For a case in point, see how SS+K held an auction for unique gifts offered by its employees, with proceeds going to charity.
8. Promote Sharing
Prior to the holidays, email a simple question to each contact: Perhaps ask, “What business book did you read this year that you would recommend to others?” Or maybe inquire, “What’s the best piece of business advice you ever got?” Mention that you are collecting responses from multiple people and will share those at a later date. Compile all the answers into a single document and then send it to everyone during the holiday season.
9. Go with a Gift
Oh, but not just any gift. Create a promotional giveaway that serves as a helpful, business-oriented resource for your recipients. How about an e-book that is chock full of useful business tips? Or a deck of playing cards designed with inspirational business quotes? These are just a couple ideas to fuel your creativity. Brainstorm a bit and think of other gift options to explore.
10. Target a Different Time of Year
Instead of doing the obvious by hopping on the December bandwagon, try going a different route: acknowledge Thanksgiving in November or the New Year in January. The timing of your message is totally up to you.
Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, remember this: Branded holiday greetings really can make a positive impact if planned thoughtfully, developed creatively and executed professionally.
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