The holiday season is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year. If you do not celebrate the holidays, or are just not particularly fond of them, you are in the minority. Even if your reasoning for not observing holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving is sound, others who are filled with the spirits of the season may view you as a humbug.
As a business owner, sitting out the holiday season is simply not an option. Even if you work for someone else, not partaking in what everyone else considers “normal” can mean alienation and also some missed business and social opportunities. You do not have to feel like the only kid on the block without a Christmas tree though. With some smart planning, you can embrace the holidays in your own way – building your personal brand and likeability in the process. Here’s how to avoid the humbug label:
- Show your gratitude. You do not need a particular date on a calendar as an excuse to let people know that you appreciate them. If you own a business, send out a “thank you” card in print or digitally and time it with the holidays. Your card does not have to mention a specific holiday but the timing will lump it in with the other efforts of the season of thankfulness.
- Give back. Again, need knows no season but there are ample opportunities for outreach in the final three months of the year. Take advantage of this fact by volunteering, donating or otherwise aligning yourself with a cause that you DO feel right celebrating. In addition to helping other people and causes, association with a charity or non-profit can improve your own business reputation. Get your employees or colleagues to participate too and you can build some internal bridges while reaching outside your company.
- Market accordingly. Just because you may not be a part of the commercialism of the season does not mean it does not exist. The National Retail Federation reports that individuals will spend over $700 on gifts and holiday-related merchandise this year. Plan your own promotions and sales in conjunction with popular shopping holidays like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. You do not even have to be a traditional retailer to take advantage of these well-marketed dates. Other people will be looking for reasons to spend money so they may as well do it with you.
Above all, look for opportunities in the holiday season to further your own brand. If you don’t, your competitors will have an advantage. By participating in the best the holidays have to offer without being over-celebratory, your business identity will get a boost.
What branding opportunities during the holiday season do you never miss?
Image via Flickr on Creative Commons
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.