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How to Optimize Your Brand Exposure During Holiday Season

How do you take advantage of the season to drive brand awareness? We’ll break down the key marketing strategies that can help your brand stand out, gift-wrapped or otherwise.

Fortress Brand Team | December 1st, 2022

Published in The Marketplace Playbook

The holidays are on, every retailer is looking to capitalize on increased consumer spending, competition is fierce and consumers are welcomed with holiday offers from all sides. So, what if your brand is not typically one which your customers look to for gifts? How do you take advantage of the season to drive brand awareness? We’ll break down the key marketing strategies that can help your brand stand out, gift-wrapped or otherwise.

Leverage the season, not the products.

Global holiday spending is expected to surpass $910 billion dollars in 2022. On average, shoppers are predicted to spend more than $1000 on gifts, decor and other holiday merch. Online traffic increases exponentially, which means an opportunity to show off your brand in fresh ways, even if you don’t offer a robust gift selection. And remember, you can always promote self-purchase, i.e. encourage customers to “treat themselves.”

Brand identity vs perception.

Before you start to optimize your brand exposure, it’s important to understand the differences between brand identity and how the customer perceives that identity. To recap:

  • Brand identity is the collection of visual elements a brand creates to convey the right image to its customers. It helps distinguish your brand and build loyalty and trust; it makes a brand memorable and gives it the character and voice you define.
  • Brand perception is what consumers think your brand represents, which can be driven by customer experience, brand aesthetic, credibility and relevance. The ideal, of course, is to align your brand identity with your brand perception as closely as possible. When shoppers believe a brand is living up to its promises, perception and identity come together naturally.

So, how are brand perception and identity-related to your holiday marketing strategies? For those brands that don’t market themselves as gift destinations, it’s possible to create a festive, brand-right feel without changing your DNA or core value proposition. Little touches go a long way—a hint of holiday color in your palette, a celebratory IG feed, differentiated holiday deals.

Know every part of the landscape.

Consumer sentiment is constantly evolving with the market, and your brand should be ready to adapt to the shifting desires and needs of your customers. In order to stay relevant, it’s all about constantly rethinking your strategies to stay ahead of the game. (Note, that doesn’t mean being ambiguous about your brand mission or purpose, or shifting your overall brand POV. The golden rule of branding remains in full effect: if you stand for everything, you stand for nothing. Decide what’s most relevant for your business, and align.

Get in the spirit.

Gift shopping or not, everyone loves a great deal, especially when it’s more compelling than a typical 20% off code. Take advantage of the holiday traffic by differentiating your deals and switching them up as you observe real-time consumer behavior and market trends. Also, think about how your brand might fit into the holidays aside from being a gift solution. Does your product help alleviate holiday stress, ease travel hassle, help make your dinner table photo-shoot ready?

Focus on social.

Use your social channels to drive further brand awareness and take advantage of the platforms to showcase your brand differentiators, draw your customer in, and drive them to convert. The best way to do this during the holidays, especially when you’re not selling gifts, is by bringing your brand into the customer’s lifestyle, e.g. share a tradition, a recipe, a game. Original content that says who you are and engages your customers can work hard at moving the needle on your business.

Top Takeaway

Brands that aren't traditionally considered a destination for gifts need to be innovative in their holiday marketing in order to optimize brand awareness: Align your brand identity and perception, monitor shifting consumer sentiment and dream up inventive holiday marketing strategies. You may find the holidays more lucrative than you anticipated.

Looking for additional guidance on leading your brand to success on Amazon? Reach out to [email protected] or drop by @fortressbrand.

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