Once Thanksgiving hits, the marathon that is the holiday season will have officially begun. This is a season where consumers will find themselves faced with a seemingly never-ending barrage of parties, from that annual ugly sweater party to the reunions with college roommates to company potlucks and all the invitations in between. With these parties come constant trips to the store, whether it’s for gifts or your holiday food staples. Juggling all that’s going on can make this a stressful time for many and that’s where CPG brands have an opportunity to shine.
By moving beyond expected seasonal hallmarks, CPG brands of all types can become the force that helps shoppers rise above the stress of this busy time. Here are three easy to implement ideas that brands can use through the holidays and beyond.
Get personal with unexpected content
We all celebrate the holidays in different ways. These differences can range from being big and ubiquitous (what holiday do we rally around?) to small and personal (those quirky traditions that are unique to your family). However, most brands are all talking and behaving in the same, expected ways. Do we really need more recipes for how leftover turkey can be incorporated into new dishes? Content that helps to elevate the occasion, but breaks away from the status quo is key for CPG brands to separate themselves from the pack.
Butterball famously did that with their holiday hotline, addressing potential holiday stress with a simple, but unexpected solution. So far this year, the most unexpected content seems to have come from TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls. These stores have pushed back on opening their doors certain times during the holidays and instead are asking shoppers to stay home and savor the time with their families. While a few other stores, including REI, have said they are in on this new trend, it is completely different from what almost all other brands and stores are doing around these shopping holidays. For that reason, it stands out and leaves a lasting impression among consumers. One unexpected piece of content or marketing initiative could be all it takes for everyone around the table to be talking about your brand this holiday season.
Make it ’grammable
Check Instagram any given weekend from mid-November through Christmas and you will likely find your feed flooded with images of festive gatherings and full tables of food and drinks. After all, this is a season where people are sharing 28% more photos and videos through their mobile devices. A good way for CPG brands to lead by example is through a combination of paid and organic posts on Instagram. Perhaps they showcase just how easy it is to pull together a dish worthy of a post. Because consumers use Instagram to show off their best side, there’s no reason your brand shouldn’t produce that shot worth buzzing about. For CPG products that make an appearance in holiday recipes, it is an easy win to generate this type of visually appealing content. All you have to do is work those cameras!
Rely on influencers
A recent Facebook study found that 74% of Millennials on Instagram take action based on posts they see. This means that catching the attention of a millennial on Instagram is a defining moment. Using Instagram influencers is a simple way to gain eyeballs that feel both natural and meaningful. These influencers don’t have to be A-list celebrities – that could be an expensive endeavor. Instead, an influencer can be anyone who has a significant social following, a unique point of view, or someone who has mastered the medium. Whether it’s to inspire the perfect gift or the “‘grammable” meal mentioned above, the use of influencers can help to spread your brand’s message in a more editorialized manner. H&M could use a lifestyle influencer to highlight the retailer’s range of gifts – from stocking stuffers and host gifts to the must haves on everyone’s wish list this season. Influencers represent a wide range of interests and therefore can be used to segment and deliver a tailored message on behalf of your brand.
The most important thing for CPG brands to keep in mind this season is that big and expected isn’t always the best way to go. With brands all moving in the same direction with the same message, it’s easy for shoppers to pass by and miss what is being offered. Be unexpected, and disruptive and you’ll see heads start turning in your direction.