5 Holiday Marketing Cliches Your Small Business Should Avoid

Liz Taurasi
June 27, 2017

Use the holiday season to promote your small business, just steer clear of these common marketing cliches.

Holidays are a great opportunity for marketing your small business, but smart marketers know avoiding holiday cliches will keep their message from being dismissed or ignored prospective customers.

With consumers expected to spend more on gifts, food and decorations than they have in the past 14 years, according to the National Retail Federations 2015 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, you don't want to lose a potential customer because of a bad cliche.

Small businesses need to avoid cliches because there is so much competition, they can not afford to blend in and they have to do something different to stand out, says Diane Myer, CEO of icre8t results. Also, a cliche is easy, it does not require you to participate in your local community and really know who your audience is.

Whether you are marketing your holiday promotions online or through traditional advertising, here are five holiday marketing cliches to avoid at all costs.
 

  1. Recreating the Currier and Ives Card
    Make your business stand out by resisting the temptation to do the same old norm. Whatever holiday promotions you offer, stay away from things like, depicting the warm, happy nuclear family, dressed in complementary holiday sweaters and sitting smiling around the table or the cookie-cutter couple exchanging gifts under the tree. I mean, really, whose life is like this anymore? That's not the typical American family. It's important to really understand who your audience actually is and what they need from you. How can your service help single parents or multi-generational households prepare for and celebrate the holidays? Personalize your services, and resist the temptation to cater to the Currier and Ives vision of the holidays.

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  2. The Holiday Puns
    Yes, it's the most wonderful time of the year, and you better watch out or you'll land on the Naughty List. Don't try to get too punny or youll risk your customers to rolling their eyes each time they hear or see them. The same goes for are you making your list and checking it twice?, or ringing in the deals. Seasonal deals and savings are good, but leave the puns under the tree.
     
  3. Thinking Your Holiday is the Only Holiday
    This is a big one to avoid. Don't think of the holiday only you, yourself celebrate. Remember there are other holidays and traditions and see how you can connect your services or solutions to those, as well.
     
  4. That Same Old Santa Picture  
    If you're going to do pictures with Santa, Rudolph, Frosty or any of the seasonal stalwarts, be sure and make it memorable. Maybe have a funky photo booth with Santa and a bunch of props at your holiday open house and then share the silly snaps on social media. If you offer an exciting, shareable experience that your loyal customers can post to their social networks, it can help to create a sense of community around the holiday.

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  5. Boring Holiday Sales and Discounts
    Small businesses need to be more creative and have full capability to do so. Big brands often have to do the same thing at all of their locations, but you have the opportunity to offer really unique promotions. Own a child care business? Advertise extended hours one day a week between Thanksgiving and New Years so busy parents can do their holiday shopping.   
Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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