October is an awkward time for small business owners.
Coming fresh off the heels of a government shutdown, the feel-good vibes of summer are long gone (along with the summertime sales), meanwhile the holiday season is just around the corner. As we anticipate Black Friday and the subsequent Christmas rush, we’re also preparing ourselves for the upcoming year. Traditionally, this is the time of year where we tend to lose sight of what’s going on right now.
Many business owners probably don’t consider capitalizing on Halloween. Perhaps they see it as a niche holiday with limited marketing opportunities. Maybe they think it’s a bit too “kiddy.” Such marketing opportunities seem a lot less limited, however, when the consider Halloween’s reach:
- Consumers spent over $7 billion on Halloween in 2012
- Over 150,000,000 Americans will participate in Halloween festivities this year (approximately 72% will hand out candy)
- Consumers are projected to spend $75.03 per person, with an average of $27.85 on costumes and $22.37 on candy.
With all of this in mind, the so-called “niche” holiday doesn’t seem like such a niche anymore, does it?
As always, SMBs should do their best to capitalize on holidays. Halloween presents a delightfully different twist on holiday marketing for businesses. As it remains one of the most celebrated and popular holidays in the country, reflect on ways for your company to participate. Holiday marketing may feel like a stretch sometimes; however, when you consider that nearly half the country is on board with Halloween, why shouldn’t you be?
Getting Into the Spirit
Black and orange. Pumpkins. Costumes. Candy. The staples of Halloween. What does it all mean to your business?
You don’t need to turn your office into a haunted house or cover your building in that infamous spiderweb fluff to get into the Halloween spirit (unless, of course, you want to). Something as simple as a Halloween-themed color scheme for your business’ newsletter or social media ad is the perfect place to start.
Customers love when the businesses they support participate in their lives. Holiday marketing represents a subtle chance to do so, meanwhile also showing your company is willing to evolve, reach out and ultimately have a bit of fun. A company costume contest or carved pumpkin outside the front door may not mean much to you, but such small details do have an impact on those around you.
Specials and Sales
For some retailers, Halloween sales are simple. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t selling pumpkins or buckets of candy corn. Regardless, holidays represent the perfect time for an impromptu coupon, discount or sale. While such a sale may be difficult to theme, tying in “holiday savings” doesn’t always have to make perfect sense. As many other companies will run specials in honor of a holiday, who says that you can’t do the same?
Halloween may also give you an opportunity to test out a sale or discount which could be tweaked and rolled out later, specifically during the major holiday season. Opportunities to grow customer loyalty and try something new may be few and far between; however, holidays such as Halloween help create such opportunities.
Small businesses represent not only the heart and soul of the country’s economy, but also the communities which allow our respective towns and cities to thrive. While Halloween may not scream “community” to you, consider the holiday’s sheer popularity (especially with children), celebration of creativity and sense of sharing. Simply put, Halloween is all about getting together and having a bit of fun.
If the opportunity presents itself, get involved with your community and increase your business’ visibility. There’s nothing stronger than a local, dedicated base of customers. Are your building yours? Think about Halloween or fall events and festivals where your business may get involved. If nothing else, doing something as simple as leaving a candy dish next to the register or a “thank you” sign can leave an impression. At the end of the day, just let the locals know that you’re there for them.
The Bottom Line
Halloween represents a turning point for small businesses as we gear up for the frantic holiday season. Start yours off right by getting into the Halloween spirit. Providing a change of pace from most holidays, Halloween allows your business to kick back, have a bit of fun and celebrate its customers and community. What’s your business doing for Halloween?
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