Christmas can sometimes feel dominated by large companies who throw money at elaborate ads and big marketing campaigns. However, SMEs needn’t worry about their comparatively little marketing budgets – they can take lessons from the major retail brands to help them hold their own during the festive season.
So, what lessons can SMEs take into 2017?
People Connect with Stories
Christmas advertising is something that people look forward to each year and it’s clear thatpeople respond to the stories that big companies put across in their TV adverts.
In 2016, Burberry launched an advert that took the viewer through its 160-year history. Not only did it encourage customers to buy into their brand, but it gave their huge company a face by telling the story of its creator, Thomas Burberry.
Small businesses should follow this example and try to capture their audience by telling a story. A memorable advert will create longer-term brand identity and customers will continue to shop with you all year round.
Consumers complain that Christmas advertising starts earlier each year, but big retailers are always eager to get their advertising out early. According to John Lewis, “Christmas” is their most popular search term on their website from early-September. Harrods and Burberry launch their campaigns around seven weeks before Christmas Day to generate more revenue.
Shoppers may be buying on a certain date, but they are probably starting to think about the purchase much earlier.
Prepare early for the festive season. Put Christmas marketing high on your agenda and make sure you’re not caught off-guard with insufficient stock or staffing. This can leave a bad memory in the consumer’s head, making them less likely to return.
Do Your Research
Figures from previous years can reveal a lot about where to focus your efforts during the festive period. Research by The Furniture Market showed that 4 million “emergency” chairs were used by families over Christmas, providing valuable information about how they can prepare in the years to come.
Take a look at which promotions and offers were the most successful for your business over the festive period to allow you to get ready for 2017.
Research shows that the average British family spends around £800 on Christmas and are increasingly heading online to find the best deals.
Offering your customers the chance to buy your products online can help you stay competitive. Follow the lead from big companies and take advantage of peak times that shoppers rush to buy online, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to introduce festive deals and promotions.
Although SMEs will not be able to throw the same financial weight behind their business operations that a big business can, they can take some valuable lessons away that will help them stay on top form in 2017.