So the street decorations are up and the tv adverts have turned decidedly twinkly. The Christmas rush is on and you haven’t even started to think about your business’s Christmas marketing strategy. A kind of Christmas panic sets in around this time for business owners that can easily end up looking as if they have  had an attack of last minute shopping to get something, anything, out there.

Deep breaths…

The perfect time to start your marketing campaign is actually the second and third week of November. And you needn’t bombard your audience with everything at once. Just like Christmas day, leave the largest gift till last and build the excitement gradually and consistently through your social media, website, enewsletters, printed materials and sales.

But before you sprinkle everything with santa hats and reindeer, just step back and consider your ideal customer. Just like any other marketing campaign throughout the year, your Christmas campaign needs to appeal directly to your ideal customer.  By all means, take full advantage of the season’s shopping madness and add a bit of the ho ho ho, but don’t forget who you are talking to. You still need to speak their language, appeal to their tastes and your brand still needs to be the central part of any campaign that you create.

Just have a look at M&S’ Christmas outfit this year. Magic & Sparkle

Christmas branding from M&S

Yes, very Christmassy, but still very M&S. Why? Well, they use a character title font for the entire Christmas range, for all the advertising, tv, printed, online, social media. This is in line with their main brand as different character fonts are used for each department. Children’s wear has a more bubbly look, home is a very structured architectural font. Christmas is a swirly elegant but fun font.

So what makes it so M&S? The photos of the products are always set against a huge background, in this case, a huge Christmas background. The text is always very large, never long and with loads of space around it and ALWAYS placed on the left hand side. I love the M&S Christmas shop, it always feels magical and I will actually go out of my way to shop there.

How can you make your brand sparkle this Christmas?
  1. Think how your ideal customer would decorate their house at Christmas? Singing santas? Lots of tinsel and colour or elegant whites and blues? Traditional Father Christmas or fun cartoon santa?
  2. Now, how can you bring that look to your brand? Can you add an accent colour, a sparkle to your brand name, a character font, Christmassy backgrounds or a  running Christmassy joke? And remember that sometimes a subtle change can be more effective than Christmas overload.
  3. Create a Christmas brand. Write a list of how your brand should look and feel throughout the season and stick to it.

The more consistent your Christmas brand message and the more appealing it is to your ideal customer the more Christmas sales you will make. So don’t put your hard earned customers off this Christmas, entice them in with a look tailored just for them.