If you watch carefully this time of year, you’ll notice lots of brands making audiences smile, say “aww”, and even choke up through their holiday campaigns. Some of my favorites this season have been the retro animated characters wishing happier holidays from Lewis Drug and the Kohl’s spot showing a little boy meeting the magical reindeer in the same place his father used to.
It isn’t anything new. I fondly remember a Folgers coffee commercial from when I was a kid, where the mom is making her morning brew and her soldier son surprises her by arriving home unexpectedly for Christmas. Another great one is the long-running Hershey’s kisses ringing like a bell choir to the tune of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” that is so simple and so well done it has run every year since 1989.
Because it is the ultimate feel-good time of year, it has become common for brands to send a warm, more emotional message during the holiday season. From a strategic standpoint, it makes sense too. In and around the informational messages that you need to share with consumers, every brand should also intentionally plan efforts that speak more to the heart than to the mind.
But this approach need not be limited to the holidays. Finding points throughout the year to incorporate some inspirational messaging into your marketing program can help you in several ways. It can help you build and maintain a positive reputation, create community and loyalty in your audience and even strengthen the more direct, informational tactics in your plan.
In personal relationships we tend to choose people we like, those we connect with and make us feel good, not necessarily people whose credentials are the most impressive. In many cases, the same is true with brands. You can have all the best products or services in the world but if they are presented with no personality or emotion, consumers may not be as attracted to them.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider starting here:
1. What is the ultimate benefit of what you provide? Of course you offer a product or service but when you break it down, what does it provide to consumers’ lives? Health? Time? Friendships? Memories? Conveying this simply and creatively can generate some of the most compelling and memorable advertising.
2. Ask yourselves, “Why do we do what we do?” Dig deep into the “why” behind your “what” and tell that story in an honest and meaningful way.
3. What are you thankful for? Your customers? Your staff? The community you serve? Recognize the important people who have helped you along the way, conveying gratitude for their role in your achievements.
The answer to these questions can guide you in crafting a message that makes your audience feel good about your brand, connecting to hearts while complementing the harder-sell efforts that connect more with minds.