Every year around Halloween, we start to get nervous. We know we have to start planning our holiday promotion and it must be awesome. Not good, not great, but awesome, and it has to top last years… For every marketing company the holiday promotion is a big deal. After all creative firms specialize in designing and delivering creative solutions, therefore coming up with a clever holiday promo should be a cinch! (The pressure is on!) We must admit that we look forward to the challenge. It’s an opportunity to think out of the box and have some fun.

This year inspiration struck as I browsed a cute little shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. I had driven across the state with my two kids in tow to spend the night and explore this coastal city. We walked up and down the waterfront area that is abundant with adorable stores and alluring restaurants. Strolling into a shop that carried curiosities from around the globe, I immediately spotted a group of tiny ceramic cranes. The crane just so happens to be my logo symbol. It has significant meaning in Asian cultures, including prosperity, joy and abundance. The cranes were pricey so I immediately googled them and found them on ebay in a variety of colors that complimented my branding at a much better price point. Whew! The biggest piece of the promotion puzzle, the “what”, had been solved. Now I needed to figure out the how.

A few weeks later I was perusing a Martha Stewart Living magazine that included gift ideas. My eye was drawn to these very unique, folded, pyramid shaped, gift boxes. Conveniently the manufacturer name was listed right there next to the picture ( I jumped on the website and discovered the boxes came in a variety of sizes and colors. I was thrilled. However, I found myself overwhelmed by all of the choices… Hmmm… do I get the blue birds and orange boxes? Orange birds and green boxes? Red birds and green boxes, no too blatantly Christmas. Finally, I went with my initial instinct and ordered the Robin’s egg blue boxes and lime green birds.

Of course, figuring out some sort of card with a greeting to include was also necessary. We created a nest for each bird to rest in and using “booger glue” attached the bird and nest to the top of the greeting card. We kept the message short, sweet and non-holiday specific, just a simple “Happy Holidays” on the front and threw the (old) logo and a brief bit about the significance of the crane on the back.

We sent these boxes of joy out on a Monday and by Friday had started receiving calls and emails telling us how clever, cute and uplifting the gift was. Every client that we have spoken to since shipping has mentioned the promo and how much they liked it. Success! Now, we just have to figure out how to top it next year!

Holiday Promo Tips:

1. Find inspiration. If you look around and keep your mind open to the possibilities it will come to you. If you need help to jump-start the process look through magazines, gift shops, book stores or use google to develop ideas. Explore new towns and stores and see what you discover.

2. Make it relevant and representative of your business. By using the crane, my logo symbol, my gift will be a constant reminder to my clients of my business. The symbolism of the crane make it relevant as it directly reinforces the messaging included.

3. Pull it all together. Remember that first impressions matter, a lot. Deliver your gift in a special box with a custom label or sticker. A sloppy presentation does not impress.

4. Keep it simple. People are overwhelmed by everything that comes through the door, especially around the holidays. Small, short, and  sweet are best.

5. Don’t rush it. I have to admit, as someone who is short on time everyday, assembling the boxes, building the nests, designing and cutting the cards, perfectly placing the birds, etc. was a tedious process. It took an entire day between assembling, packing and shipping for my team to complete the mailers. However, had we rushed any part of it the end result would have been compromised.

6. Enjoy the process. Find joy in doing something that is outside of your everyday normal.

Sources of inspiration: