It’s the most wonderful time of year:  the season of giving. For many of us, it’s the season of selling, too.  If only the Holiday volume was year-round…  Well, we can’t make that happen, but we can certainly take advantage of what it tells us. 

Everyone is looking for ways to drive traffic and revenue.  Too often, we land on “sale, Sale, SALE!!!!!!”   Sure, that works, but your messaging always work better when it is real, authentic, and tied to a reason that is believable. 

Here’s a thought:  You can’t make it the Holidays year-round, but you can use seasonal changes to build your brand.

I can already hear you now…  You’re saying, “Marco, we do that already.”  Do you though?  Do you really put the energy into building creative engagement in the Fall, Spring and Summer like you do the Holidays? 

Consider these three marketing strategies to take advantage of seasonal changes:

Go beyond the normal shopping calendar.

When I say seasons, I don’t simply mean the weather.  Go deeper.  Find the organic holidays, events, and dates that are fun and engaging.  Not just the big ones like Valentine’s Day or Easter.  Those are obvious.  There is a “day” for everything now.  Literally.  Do you know when National Boyfriend Day is?  How about National Cookie Day or National Espresso Martini Day?  Look ‘em up.  Find ones that matter to your brand or are quirky, odd and, just plain fun.  Develop creative ways to connect, even if not obvious.  Engagement will follow.  Comments will follow.  Sales will follow—and in places on the calendar that you didn’t expect.    

Define the year as a canopy and the key seasons as tentpoles.

Don’t wait. Take the time to review the calendar now.  I know you already have major seasons in place that couple with your merchandising.  Add secondary events and seasonal themes as additional tentpoles.  If you wait, it’s too late.  The more time you have to research and plan, the more you can work cross-functionally to build buzz and communicate.

Grow your own.

A seasonal change doesn’t have to be defined on a calendar.  For instance, if you are in home improvement, you know people get their income tax refund in the Winter and are contemplating big projects.  That makes Winter “I’m-thinking-of-a-home-project-in-March-and not-sure-what-to-do-yet” season (a mouthful, I know).  Build content and promos around the seasonal truths of your industry.  Back to School, Start of Summer, Fall kickoff—those are obvious.  Do it right and you can own it as an annual “event.”

The Holiday Season will be ending soon.  While everyone else kicks back, take the time to plan ahead beyond the norm. You could add some big incremental sales to your calendar.