I love a bargain, but frankly, it’s only Wednesday and I’m already tired of hearing about Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a huge room with a 1,000 people around me, all shouting for my attention.
50% off! Free shipping! Gift with purchase! Our lowest prices of the year! Door open at 4 AM! (And worst of all) Doors never close!
As the LA Times says, Black Thursday is replacing Black Friday as more stores open for business on Thanksgiving. Walmart, CVS, Toys R Us, and here’s Old Navy proudly offering $10 off if you shop on turkey day.
It’s enough to make me want to pay full price.
But there is an alternative, as the New York Times reports, some brands are using the season to bolster their image, not their bottom line.
Macy’s always does a wonderful job promoting the spirit of the season over bargain prices. Their current ads, which feature celebs such as Justin Bieber suggest that Macy’s is the cool place to shop – regardless of price. And then there’s that montage ad that features dozens of Macy’s references from the obvious Miracle on 34th Street, to Project Runway and King Kong. The ad plays into the nostalgic feeling we all get this time of year and it makes Macy’s seem like a warm and joyous place.
Coca-Cola, one of the kings of holiday marketing, has turned their previous success with animated polar bears into a conservation campaign.
For the small business who can’t afford to open extra hours or slash prices to the bone, an image campaign might be the best way to advertise during the holiday season. Promote customer service, the joy of the holiday or a tie-in to a local charity.
At this point, with much of the world getting bargain weary, a simple pitch for a small company can outshine all the rest.