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Tips to make a success of your special occasion marketing

How to play with your brand for special occasions and the festive season but still be recognisable as your brand

Yes, it is that time of the year again. We are always surprised by it, but it is inevitable! We thought that his month would be a good time to talk about playing with your brand for special occasions, while giving you some of our tips for successful special occasion marketing.

You can play with your brand a little – after all, you don’t want to be seen as a ‘Scrooge’, but going all out Christmas may detract from your brand style and voice and negatively affect brand consistency.

It is, therefore, important to strike the right balance between adding seasonal or festive elements to your brand, while remaining true to your brand identity.

Here are our tips for embracing the festive, or any other season, in your marketing without detracting from your brand values.

Tips for special occasion marketing – Brand identity

It is important not to lose your brand identity in any Christmas, or other, marketing or messages.

Make sure you thoroughly understand your brand’s personality, values, and message.

This will guide you when playing with your brand for special occasions such as Christmas.

Place special emphasis on knowing the core elements of your brand inside out to ensure brand consistency.

The logo, colours, typography, and tone of voice should still be shine through even in festive marketing.

You could even create a separate style guide for special occasions to detail how the individual elements of your brand can be adapted for special occasion marketing, detailing:

  • A seasonal colour palette that incorporates or works with your brand colour palette.
  • Adjustments to your logo that reflect the festive time of year but still maintain the integrity of your logo.
  • Acknowledge the festive season or special occasion by creating a series of messages but make sure that they resonate with your brand voice. Incorporate your brand’s personality by using your normal language style and tone.
  • Use your normal brand font or typography. Add decorative elements to it, rather than using a different font altogether, or choose one complementary font to differentiate festive headers.

It is important for your brand identity that you don’t stray too far or get carried away by the special occasion message, which can result in the dilution of your brand message.

With a seasonal style guide, your marketing team will have guidelines to work within to ensure consistency of visuals and tone of voice across all touchpoints, while showing customers that your brand has embraced the festive season.

Find out why brand guidelines are important in this earlier blog post.

Tips for special occasion marketing – Engage your audience

The festive season is a great time for your brand to build relationships and engender goodwill, helping to boost sales.

This can be especially important for retailers, who depend on this time of year for a good part of their annual sales revenue.

Once you have developed your seasonal style guide you can employ a number of strategies to ensure successful special occasion marketing:

  • Festive content should resonate with your brand identity and values (see above.) You can also share other stories that reflect the festive spirit and will engage your audience, such as charity events, members of staff who went above and beyond to help a customer, local community events etc.
  • Feature festive special offers, exclusive discounts, promotions and limited time offers to encourage customers to buy while the price is right. Use your festive messaging to signal these campaigns, so they are instantly recognisable, and your customers engage with the theme.

Engage your audience with specially created Christmas characters who embody the spirit of the season. Think, the M & S fairy, Aldi’s Kevin the carrot etc. These characters make festive campaigns immediately recognisable, and their engaging content encourages involvement at a deeper emotional level, building customer loyalty.

  • Embrace the festive season in your marketing by sending personalised emails or in-app holiday messages to your audience, including holiday greetings, thank you for being a loyal customer messages. These can also feature special one-time offers, upcoming events, new product launches or personalised promotions or discounts. Give extra loyalty points for engaging every day, and social media likes and comments etc.
  • Make use of interactive content. Create quizzes, polls, games, advent calendars, open the present and click the festive icon activities to engage and involve customers with your festive messaging. Inviting your audience to participate and encouraging them to share your messages will help to build a relationship and foster customer loyalty. Combine the interactive content with special promotions, time limited discounts and other incentives. For example, look at the M&S 12 days of Christmas interactive content in their app.
  • Create festive social media content that encourages people to engage, comment and share your posts. Invite their comments and use festive hashtags to reach a wider audience.
  • Share charitable and community activities on social media. Launch or encourage a festive giving campaign, promise to match donations to a specific cause or showcase festive charity events your brand is involved in, for example, toy donations, community choirs, soup kitchens, helping the homeless or lonely at Christmas etc.
  • Think about partnering with social influencers who are aligned with your brand values and can create their own festive content featuring your brand to reach a wider audience.
  • Engage your audience with festive workshops, cook-alongs, webinars, demonstrations, events, how-tos, live streams etc. Use incentives such as exclusive access to content, products or discounts to encourage participation.

To build on the engagement of your target audience and ensure your special occasion marketing successful, it is important to remember that customer service is king!

If you want the festive season to bring in more customers and increase sales, you must make sure you have enough customer service staff on the shop floor, at the end of the phone, or answering emails during the busy holiday period.

At this time of year, the feeling of being let down by poor customer service is magnified, so this is an area where your brand can win over new customers and foster trust and customer loyalty.

Remember that embracing the festive season in your marketing is about being genuine, authentic and considerate of other cultural celebrations.

Be inclusive and tailor messaging to align closely with your brand identity, brand values and brand guidelines when playing with your brand for special occasions.

At Rebus Creative, we love helping clients with their branding questions and finding the right solution for them. Contact us for a chat about how you can ensure successful special occasion marketing but still be recognisable as your brand.