While COVID-19 is continuing to keep many people from participating in their usual holiday activities this year — from in-person shopping sprees to attending holiday parties and traveling to visit family — Americans have not let the pandemic completely dampen their holiday cheer, and more specifically, holiday spending.

From Black Friday through the end of December, the majority of businesses shift much of their focus to spreading holiday joy by selling the idea of Christmas and all things merry and bright — and it works. Even your favorite musical artist likely has a holiday album so they can tap into this super lucrative time of the year.

Between gifts, decorations and travel, Americans spend nearly $1,000 each year on holiday-related purchases, according to the National Retail Federation. In fact, $28.1 billion is expected to be spent on gift cards this season alone!

Basically, if Christmas was its own brand, it would be making a ton of money. 

It’s a simple idea: The time of year when millions of people are searching for the perfect gift (ahem, your product or service) is the perfect time of year to throw some extra effort into marketing your business. 

Did you know the beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was actually created as part of a holiday marketing campaign for the department store Montgomery Ward? The retailer used to give away free books to kids each Christmas and had decided to make its own in 1939 with the help of one of its copywriters.  

From Coca-Cola and its classic Santa ads to Google creating a “Santa Tracker,” virtually every successful business has leaned into the holiday season to boost its business. 

So, what makes Christmas such a successful marketing plan for businesses to play on year after year? Well, the holiday season provokes feelings, emotions and memories unmatched by any other event throughout the year.

The holiday season, and especially Christmas, presents a huge storytelling opportunity for brands, which is an integral part of any effective marketing campaign. There are countless holiday stories that have been shared through generations that brands have borrowed from as part of their marketing campaigns. From the story of Jesus’ birth to 19th and 20th century classics like “The Night Before Christmas” and “Frosty the Snowman,” these tales help humanize brands and can further communicate their messages that bring feelings of nostalgia.

Additionally, so many people have heartwarming memories related to the holiday season, usually surrounding the ideas of togetherness and spending time with the ones we love most. Whether it’s decorating the tree with siblings, unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning with parents, or decorating cookies with Grandma, those heartwarming memories have the unique ability to keep people coming back each and every year in an effort to replicate those feelings.

In turn, those feelings often make people just feel generally happier during this season. And when people are happy, they tend to purchase more, so of course, it’s in a business’ best interest to dial up its holiday cheer! 

While the holiday season provides a great opportunity to promote and grow your business, it’s also a great time to show appreciation for your customers in return. In tandem with your holiday selling campaign, consider a campaign that focuses on giving back to those that have helped your business succeed. After all, it is the season of giving!

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