Black Friday has become the most well-known mass shopping day of the year. In addition to the notoriety, the numbers back up the hype: in 2013, consumers spent a whopping $12.3 billion during Black Friday, up 2.3% from 2012. This “holiday” for consumers is filled with brands advertising and looking to grab a piece of their attention. The noise is so loud in the marketing space that it’s easy to get lost, or on the flip side, try so hard to stand out that you negatively impact your brand.
The companies with the most success preparing themselves for Black Friday shopping are the ones who know how to walk the line between not enough and too much. From outrageous discounts to new advancements in technology that benefit those in the stores, these brands know how to make their mark on the day.
This may be a tall task for many companies who have not entered into the fray for Black Friday previously, but there are five ways you can craft your brand marketing strategy to set yourself up for success:
Use the power of your brand.
An often underestimated asset for many companies, there are very few places that a brand marketing strategy is better utilized than Black Friday. In the rush of the early morning sales, consumers are very rarely taking the time to research the pros and cons of each product, and therefore the sale decision comes down to two factors: price and brand. Pricing decisions are a different discussion, but the branding strategies can be put into place ahead of time to ensure that your brand is working as hard as it can for you.
Don’t limit “Black Friday” to just one day.
The decision to open your store on Thanksgiving should be done on a case-by-case basis, factoring in what is best for you and your employees, and whether it can be justified by the expectation of a great increase in your revenue. But all brands should at least take advantage of Cyber Monday, the newly-formed “Online Black Friday.” Consumers aren’t looking only for the sales that last in the early morning hours on Friday, but have come to expect brands to reward them for shopping the days, and sometimes weeks, following.
Online and mobile are the new drivers of Black Friday shopping.
More and more, people are using online sources to either prepare themselves for in-store shopping, or they are avoiding the crowds and doing all of their purchasing online. Don’t miss out on this vital component – your advertising strategy should cover an online component, while some brands find it beneficial to offer online-only discounts and specials to drive traffic to their sites.
Additionally, make sure your website is in the best shape it can be, especially if you plan to offer online shopping options for your customers. Double-check all portals, links, payment processors, and information to keep the machine running smoothly and eliminate additional hassles if something goes wrong.
Remember to integrate social media strategies into your overall brand preparation.
Outside of the potential for additional sales on Cyber Monday, social media is an inexpensive and continuous outlet to inform consumers of what your brand is doing to commemorate Black Friday. This may be a good time to run an audit of your social media accounts, ensuring that everything is in line, including all logos, profile pictures, bio descriptions, manager responsibilities and posting schedules.
With a rush in consumer shopping also comes a rush of consumer attention to your brand, some for the first time, and as they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure yours is perfect in this area of your brand marketing strategy.
Maximize your visual presence.
All brands should have a consistent theme overall, and this should carry over into your branding strategies for Black Friday, especially from a visual branding perspective. As previously mentioned the short attention span of today’s consumers is divided even more by the rush of marketing traffic being thrown at them, so a quick visual recognition is the best way to grab and maintain their interest and successfully convey a branding message.
Whether your brand strategies include these five ideas, or if you add more as you plan, one thing that is crucial is the power of preparation. If you want your brand to be successful this Black Friday (and beyond), you can’t be caught off guard. If your brand is properly prepared and set up to succeed, then this year should see you firmly in black after Black Friday.