Christmas is a wonderful time for you and your brand to connect with customers in a more meaningful way. Get the jump on this Season, and start planning now with our Holiday Guide for small business while you still have plenty of time! Don’t forget to make sure your business is top of mind as we end the year and head into the new one!


Inspiration image via Pinterest


01. Add festive cheer to your branding

Creating the right atmosphere for this time of the year can be a lot of fun. From the ground up in-store, on your website, in your communications (like your email signature), even your product mix – let your brand personality shine. A simple sandwich board or window decal can be effective for any business. In retail? Consider providing a gift wrapping service.

You can’t over-communicate at this time of year, so make sure you let everyone know ahead of time what your holiday opening hours are, as well as any other key dates they may need to know about in the lead up til Christmas, in-store, online, and turn on your email autoresponders. Then, if you’ve updated your branding and website with Christmas notices or shut-down dates be sure to remove them as soon as they are no longer needed.


02. Print it out

Gregory Ciotti says that ‘Marketing is enthusiasm transferred to the customer’. What better way to show-off your brand than engaging the senses of your customers through a beautifully designed holiday catalogue, checklist or gift guide. Hands-on, tactile print pieces filled with stories, lifestyle images, and room layouts are proven to be an excellent way to express a brand’s personality.

On that note, according to research conducted for the United States Postal Service, recipients of direct mail catalogues are more likely to make a purchase than shoppers who do not receive direct mail. What’s more, they typically buy more items and spend 28% more. This applies even if your business operates solely online; the study also found a 163% lift in revenues for websites supported by catalogues as opposed to those that were not.


03. Collaborate with other local businesses

Two heads are better than one, right? Collaborating with other local businesses is one way to connect with and gain exposure to a targeted, interested audience even if they’ve never heard of you! We love it when local businesses join forces because when done well, brand collaborations can be worth more than the sum of their parts from a customer’s perspective. The holiday season is the perfect time too. Think: stand-alone hair salons and nail salons, health and wellness centers with the local whole food or organic cafes and restaurants, and even fashion boutiques and dry-cleaners. The Collective Hub has written a great post on how to collaborate, read it here.


04. Send your holiday greetings

Conjure up the magic and excitement of Christmas with beautiful greeting cards for your customers, suppliers and staff. When it comes to sending Christmas Cards personalisation is key. Completely customise the design or use a template – this year funds raised from our Charity Christmas cards go towards the Heart Foundation, Children’s Cancer Institute, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation! In retail? Make sure gift cards are available. Selling the type of thing people love to buy as gifts? Why not design your own branded Christmas cards for your customers to buy to complete the package all in the one place.


Inspiration image via Pinterest

05. Embrace gift giving

Gifting is a great way for clients to further connect with you and your brand. We’re not talking about a box with some random items thrown in it. It can be much more than that! Your clients chose you for a reason and more than ever, they want to feel a sense of pride for working with you. Strengthen relationships with your clients, suppliers and staff with a simple personalised gift to say thanks. They’ll remember you for offering them something meaningful and tangible this season.


06. Think about the year ahead

Take your custom gifts to the next level and turn your customers into brand ambassadors. Sharing a little love this season can go a long way in building your business in the year ahead. Choose items that not only align with your brand and message, but also make their lives better. As an example, visual schedules are proven to help us to better design our day – so allow customers to interact with your brand all year round with wall planners, calendars, journals or notebooks. One glance at their gift and they’ll have an instant and tangible reminder of their goals and the progress they’re making with your help.


07. Schedule it!

The days after Christmas are the best time for your business to retain newly gained customers so keep up your communications throughout January. Schedule your content and promotions in advance using the built-in functionality on Facebook or WordPress for example, or with free tools like Hootsuite, or Buffer.


Our final tip?

Don’t overlook your post-holiday strategy. Make the return to work after the festive season a little more joyful – finalise your high level marketing plans for the year ahead, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running!