Branding works best when it is both consistent and responsive. You can actually create a stronger awareness of brand identity among your audience by responding to changing seasons in a way that resonates with your brand’s core identity and values. Your branding, at every level from your website on out to social and beyond, is how your customers recognize you. Makeovers for seasonal purposes need to address your customers’ changing needs while avoiding brand ambiguity.
Here are five ways to makeover your brand for the holiday season:
1: Your Emails
Start your revamping efforts with your emails. Everything about these can be altered to fit the season. What we are looking for is a sense of continuity that takes account of the season – a tweak, not a radical, total overhaul. Consider:
Subject lines are the headline of any email of yours; anyone can tell you how important they are- whether we are talking about email campaigns or any piece of content. Building Christmas into them does not have to mean a motley collection of ho-ho-ho puns and wishes for good elf this winter. In essence, you are addressing different pain points from other times of the year. This is the only season that people feel under pressure to buy gifts they do not really understand for people they do not actually know. The whole family might be driving home for Christmas – or your recipients might be the ones doing the long drive. Christmas has urgency and scarcity built in; you just need to allude to them.
Around your emails, alter or add a touch of snow, a sprinkle of tinsel, a Santa hat. If you think it is going to work for you, throw a choir of angels in there too. Keep your email recognizable – people like to see variation within established boundaries. Consider seasonal imagery like bags of presents, again, depending on your audience.
Christmas themes extend to the content of your email too. For B2B, that might mean sending a short,mostly-text email that shows that you know all their projects are going to lose momentum over the holidays and you feel their pain. For B2C e-commerce, it will often mean showcasing potential gift ideas, and using content like thought trees, gift guides and targeted offers to support purchase decisions.
2: Your Website
You can make stylistic changes to your website for the holiday season, ones that resonate with your brand’s core values and your audience. From cozy through timeless to young and fun, it is about hitting the right note with a sense of style.
Check out how Athleta does it:
They are taking their main offering – athletic clothes for women – and foregrounding the winter fun element, drawing on memories of snowmen and sledging while keeping the focus on their target audience visually.
Beyond that, you can make structural alterations too.
If you want to rebuild your whole site on Christmas, I think your developer’s team will have something to say about that. Building, however, additional landing pages for Christmas shoppers makes solid sense.
Seasonal landing pages can target holiday consumers or offer holiday-themed giveaways. If you do not normally use countdown timers on product pages, this might be a good time of the year to consider it. You might also want to think about a ‘shopping days til `Christmas’ banner.
Using tweaked product descriptions can help you drive home the seasonal message. If you are using a gift guide or other content marketing techniques to support purchase decisions, keep the copy in sync across your product descriptions too. You can also use seasonal prompts across product descriptions where appropriate. Finally, consider adding a touch of seasonal visual sparkle to product images.
Ideally, you will funnel your audience from email through landing pages to products and thence to checkout with every stage preserving the same aesthetic and oriented toward the same concerns.
3: Your Logo
The more iconic and recognizable a logo, the more profitable it is to alter and adapt it to the seasons; ask Nike, Coca-Cola or Google.
Even if millions do not know your brand (yet), that does not mean you cannot use the same tricks.
Seasonal visual vocabulary offers you some room to move and stay recognizable; red, white and green natural are the most popular color choices. You can also try plain tricks to make it work. For instance, try and add a small crown of snow to your logo to get a good effect. You do not have to throw the whole Christmas collection at the logo, the way Nike has! When it is going to be the name and face of your business, it needs to keep your brands’ feeling while syncing with the holidays’ mood. That is the only way that you will achieve to chime with your customers’ concerns.
Changing your logo to suit the needs of a Christmas campaign is not the greatest alteration you will make. But, then again your logo is not the biggest graphic on most of your real estate. It is just the most important.
4: Your Social Channels
Social channels are more easily modifiable in comparison with your website in many cases; if you get good mileage out of them and they are the first point of contact for many leads, or if you have dedicated audiences on Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, it makes sense to get seasonal there too.
Altering the background images of your social channels to reflect important events is a no-brainer – it is a pretty simple task to do, either with pictures or with custom graphics that use a mix of images and words to convey your seasonally-appropriate value prop. Check out how Walmart did it on Facebook last year:
Changing your background images switches up the feel of your whole page. It is simple in most social channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer straightforward instructions. Bear in mind that the size and shape of these graphics can be a little weird, so be prepared to do some resizing before you set them up; nothing says unprofessional like an obviously stretched banner image!
5: Your Content
Content marketing is powerful. Make it seasonal too. Consider search intent and need, not just keywords, and create posts that help to guide your readers through the rocky waters of the holiday season. Remember, it is about providing real value.
Also keep in mind, too, what lesser content marketers forget: it is not just blogging. A how-to, crafting guide or gift guide can be genuinely useful to a stumped shopper who’ll thank you in dollars if you make their day easier. Everyone loves the person who took a rock out of their shoe: if that rock is ‘when can I post my gift and have it arrive by Christmas?’ or ‘what do I buy my friend from work?’ you are in with a sale and seasonally-appropriate goodwill to boot.
Create custom content especially for the season; make it match your alterations elsewhere. Seek to develop a cross-channel, seasonal visual identity and match your new Christmas content to it. This works in B2B too: right now, businesses have specific seasonal concerns depending on their industry, but all geared ultimately around consumer behavior at Christmas.
For B2C, if you are in a niche market – fishing equipment, high-end fashion, quality meats, pro caliber sports gear, or anything where the world divides into those in the know and those with no idea – gift guides and how-tos make you accessible and friendly to new visitors. Their loved ones might be aware of what the perfect present for them might be, but they have no idea – so reach out and give them one!
Seasonal branding is not rebranding. Instead, you are aiming to dress your regular branding in seasonally appropriate clothing. The intention is to create a recognizable Christmassy feeling that fits with your brand’s identity while preserving its integrity. That can be a tightrope at times; but if you can manage it, you will be better placed to take advantage of seasonal changes in your customers’ interests and priorities.