Jess Filbey, our Senior Account Director, gives her top tips on standing out during the busy Christmas period.
1. Start early
When the temperatures are soaring (remaining luke-warm) outside, it’s difficult to focus your mind on Christmas – but with the glossy gift guides closing up this week and with many of the big brands strategizing their Christmas marketing campaigns since Boxing Day last year – in order to execute a successful Christmas campaign, it’s essential that you start early.
2. Remember the reason for the season
One of the most common pitfalls for brands at this time of year is trying to jump on the back of the festivities, despite having absolutely no justification for it (beef jerky brands, frozen mashed potato brands we’re talking to you). It’s crucial that you remember the reason for the season – if your brand isn’t right for the Christmas period – don’t force it.
3. Don’t forget social
With the rise of social and digital media and the ever-increasing power of peer-to-peer recommendation, it’s important to ensure that social is an integral part of your Christmas comms leading up to and during the festive season. Rather than just sticking a ‘Happy Christmas’ hashtag on the end of a tweet and taking a selfie by the office tree, brands need to push the boundaries of creativity to spread their merry message and to set themselves apart from the Christmas clutter. Ask yourself what the unique parts of your social voice are that you can build on and how you can make this engaging and relevant to your target audience at this time of year, whilst tapping into new trends.
4. Keep it simple
Luxury brands ideally should be adopting a holistic approach – to include digital, social, editorial and in-store storytelling with a view to creating impactful, immersive experiences to target existing consumers and, at the same time, attracting new ones. That said, not everyone’s Christmas marketing budgets will be the same as Coca Cola’s and for many brands, it’s just about showcasing products in an effective way to media, digital influencers and bloggers. Ultimately you want to get into the head of your consumers and their shopper needs – it doesn’t need to be earth shattering, it just needs to be simple, slick and engaging.
5. Offer a unique experience
There are a lot of fish swimming in this icy pond – so you need to ask yourself how you can set yourself apart from your competitors. This is something that Stir champions every year in July – take our most recent Christmas in July event for Brown Forman’s Super Premiums (Gentleman Jack, Old Forester, Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel) which took place at The Curtain Hotel at the beginning of July. Stir transformed the ground floor into the four different brand worlds, creating an unforgettable immersive experience, which drew in target luxury, food, drink and lifestyle media, trade journalists, digital influencers and bloggers, created talkability on social and resulted in 80% of those who attended it to cover the products in their Christmas gift guides.