For thousands of years, autumn has been a time of celebration. Early harvest festivals were filled with food, drink and games – and the same is true of today’s fall events. From Oktoberfest gatherings to football gameday kickoffs and the Thanksgiving Day parade, you won’t find any shortage of reasons to celebrate.
For businesses, this is also an excellent season for promotional products and some innovative marketing. Take advantage of the autumn’s numerous holidays to show your employees your appreciation, hold a brand-building fundraising event or just get the word out there with clever promotional items and smart strategy.
If you’re in search of suggestions, look no further than these five holidays. On their own, they’re fun opportunities to throw office parties or show your employees some appreciation. However, with the help of promotional products and some basic marketing strategy, these holidays could boost retention and increase your brand recognition, no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Labor Day
Technically, autumn doesn’t begin until later in September, but for many folks across the country Labor Day weekend is the sendoff to the summer. Some lingering high temperatures may last for the next few weeks, but the morning air already has that autumn crispness and the harvest season is beginning.
Nevertheless, you can send employees off on their final vacations and getaways of the year in style with some morale-boosting gifts.
Tote bags are ideal for late-summer beach trips. Employees can stuff these roomy shoulder bags full of snacks, drinks and paperbacks – not to mention a few promotional beach towels, which will also be emblazoned with your company logo in full color.
2. Columbus Day
After a full month of working hard post Labor Day weekend, Columbus Day is usually the first federal holiday workers have off, and the last one before Thanksgiving. It’s no wonder that most of your employees will be hopping in their cars and heading off with family in search of some fall foliage.
This is another great opportunity to improve retention by gifting your workers a few nifty promotional products, like custom binoculars, for example.
But if you’re looking for another angle altogether, it’s not too late to put together a small company fundraiser. Why not have your employees pick a charity or local nonprofit, then you can work as a team to design an Oktoberfest-themed event hosted by your company.
Find a great venue, get some delicious food to grill up and don’t forget the beer! Make an effort to find local brewers who’d like to be represented at your event. This will help you establish a friendly relationship with the community. And you should also have some promotional beer mugs and a set of Oktoberfest-themed T-shirts printed up for attendees.
Ask most folks which holiday they associate most with autumn and they’ll tell you Halloween. The reason October 31 regularly wins out over Thanksgiving for the title of most beloved fall holiday is simple: Like Christmas, it reminds everyone what it’s like to be a kid. People go through a lot of work decorating their homes, and most offices put in the same degree of work. And while Thanksgiving is communal for the family, Halloween is about the neighborhood, town or city at large!
If you’re committed to a month-long Halloween campaign, you could find that starting early has numerous benefits. As Marketing Sherpa observed in a post on Halloween promo tactics, this is an enormous retail holiday across numerous industries. You can tap into that with the help of e-mail marketing, social media promotions and other brand-building efforts.
As the source pointed out however, you don’t want to be stuck sending out a flurry of e-mail blasts late in the month. Time your promotions smartly, get creative and encourage user-generated Halloween content on your website or social media. This could be product reviews or asking your buyers and supporters to post favorite Halloween photos to your Facebook page.
4. Veterans Day
Hardly your typical marketing holiday, Veterans Day is probably not going to be the event you pull out all your promotional product stops for – but there’s no reason not to invest in some supportive gestures as well, all of which could benefit your company’s reputation and build goodwill. Consider some commemorative custom pens for Veterans Day, or hand a few memorial flags and pennants around the office.
If you want, search InkHead’s wealth of personalized items, from trusted brand name watches to Swiss army knives and other premium offerings. These could make for excellent gifts to veterans you have on staff, to whom you might want to express your appreciation.
You may also want to consider putting together a small charity event in support of veteran troops within your local community. Some balloons, good food, drinks and a warm atmosphere are all it takes, and it’s sure to benefit your community standing in spades.
Thanksgiving is the day that truly kicks off the holiday season for most folks. Full of food and family, it’s like a month-early primer for Christmas.
Make sure you tap into this prime time for marketing your company. After all, could there be a better holiday for sending your loyal customers your thanks? A little customer appreciation during the holiday season can go a long way.
Vertical Response’s marketing blog has some great suggestions that have been pioneered by well-known retail, restaurant and culinary brands. These tips and tricks are company specific, but that doesn’t mean your own business can’t have its Thanksgiving customer appreciation selling point.
Of course, one of the best ways to show your thanks is with a little gift. No need to go overboard – just offer your most loyal customers a perk, like a promotional coffee mug or a free custom football, in honor of the Thanksgiving Day game! The most important rule should be that gestures don’t have to be grand to be appreciated.