Brainstorming for holiday promotions has to start ages before the actual holiday. 2 to 3 months ahead of time is most common, with 8-9 months (or more) in advance of the holiday being pretty likely for larger organizations. The lead time is all based upon the need to forecast, order inventory and design supporting materials.
I used to think of Christmas in April, not just the organization formerly known as that name, but because we needed to commit to manufacturers to produce the product, get it to their distributors and get it to the stores in time for them to merchandise and stock product for the customer to purchase.
Small businesses who are lean and flexible can create a promotion on the fly, the same day even, if needed… but there is a catch. Will it do anything to drive new customers to walk through the door or just increase the average sale of the customers who are already in your store or restaurant? What is your goal with the promotion?
- Increase sales?
- Increase ticket value?
- Increase new customers?
- Launch and sell a new product?
- Capture a sale for a specific holiday?
Restaurants are more likely to be able to capture that “extra” sale because of the nature of specials and the willingness – after a starter cocktail – to order the entree, even price unknown.
In retail, you really do have to think of your holiday promotions in advance…such as Pi Day promotions. Today, but not before today, I saw a plethora of $3.14 promotions and specials – whether they repriced an item, bundled a drink and chips, or discounting by that amount. It is fun to have a promotion for a holiday that doesn’t even exist for the vast majority of the people – non-math geek, non-engineers, non-natural scientists, non-artists – until today, when Pi Day is a century long anticipated event. Normally occurring on March 14th but in 2015 pretty unique when you not only add in the year, but also the hour, the minutes and the seconds to get 3/14/15 9:26:53 or pi, taken to the 9th digit of that oh, so very special number.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl