I am writing this on a Thursday.
However, this isn’t just ANY Thursday, as M&S might suggest, it is July the 4th, or ‘July 4th’ as our American cousins across the pond prefer.
So what? I hear you cry. ‘We’re British and threw our tea in the river and that nasty lady mocked our footballers when she scored too. They can keep their stupid holiday.’
Valid points both but, if you think like a marketer, you would be seeking to leverage this and all manner of other similar days in the year. Imagine you are a restaurant or bar. What could you have done today to give your menu an American theme?
If that sounds limited, check out the REAL opportunity today, Retail Independence Day.
I’ve just googled news searched ‘Retail Independence Day’ and discovered that the Leeds Corn Exchange is leveraging this beautifully, gaining media coverage for the venue and its ‘30 unique retailers of fashion, eyewear, music, home and garden, food and further locally sourced goods’.
Hats off to them. This is EXACTLY what I would expect forward thinking locations and even villages, towns and cities to do to support small businesses.
Maybe you think that one day can’t make a difference but fear not, there is actually an entire month of activity in July with Independent Retailer Month. This campaign runs annually to ‘highlight the important role smaller, local, independent retailers play in the communities they serve, the local economy they contribute to, and in the retail sector as a whole.’
Now, I appreciate that many of you are not retailers and that by the time you read this, it will be too late but that isn’t my message here, my message is to look ahead and leverage the OTHER days that lurk on the yearly calendar.
We all know about Black Friday, Cyber Wednesday, Boxing Day sales and Christmas of course. New Year’s is a great time for anything health and habit related, I’m looking at you PTs, physios and coaches and then there’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and many other religious holidays.
Think about how your offering can be highlighted by these days. It doesn’t even have to be press-worthy, it can be simple stuff more suited to your website and social media campaigns.
I have had push back on this before from my B2B clients, saying it is all very well for consumer campaigns but this sort of stuff doesn’t work for them.
By injecting a bit of colour and dare I say it ‘FUN’ into their PR they can reap huge rewards in terms of attracting and retaining staff by showcasing their different company culture. I used to work with a major international bank from Down Under.
Every Australia Day in January we’d have an Aussie themed event at a big venue in town, with well over 250 ‘professionals’ queuing up for various buck-tucker challenges, beer, BBQs and branded cork hats.
It isn’t about the day itself, it is how you leverage it. Imagine being a business editor receiving yet ANOTHER photo of a grey man in a grey suit being ‘delighted’ with the latest growth figures and then receiving 10 photos of some local faces all letting their hair down and raising money for a great cause.
There’s loads of these days, some more spurious than others – ‘International Bubble Bath Day’. also in January anyone?
Halloween? Easy. Nightmare business scenarios thought leadership article.
Bonfire Night? Make it a social event for clients and staff.
Valentine’s Day? Come on guys, you’ve got this.
If you’re stuck for inspiration, get Googling or, give me a call. I am working on a diary for this very purpose and will be more than happy to send it to you once finished or have a chat about the ideas I’m talking about anytime.
PS one more thing about things like Retail Indie Day, if you don’t have the benefit of forward thinking, proactive venues, towns, Retails Business Improvement Districts or ‘BIDS’, make sure that next year, YOU are the independent leading the charge for your area.
One of the biggest tips I give with regards these sort of campaigns is to stop trying to be the star of the show and aim to be the producer, the Steven Spielberg or PT Barnham if you will. You gain the reflected glory and you become the thought leader, the guru and you know how much people like me LOVE a guru.