This time of year brings much warmth with the colder temperatures and biting December wind (ok, not so biting this year). And marketers, clad in their ugly Christmas sweaters and spiked hot cocoa in hand, are quick to turn this good feeling into a branding opportunity. The best branding forms an emotional connection, so how could you do better than attaching the benefits of peace, love and happiness to your organization?
We’re used to seeing the crafted vignettes as the art of story-telling is professionally pushed close to its limits with grateful grandparents, caring parents and hopeful kids learning life lessons in a loving scene. We know they are contrived, but most of them still hit home, after all, t’is the season to care.
I don’t begrudge them their opportunity to gain what they can. They’re doing their best to stay in business and meet customers needs, and Christmas is when Canadians get very serious about shopping. Most retailers and charities rely heavily on the Christmas period to generate much needed revenue. Their holiday strategy starts in October and they often try to stretch it well into January; although by then most of us are too stretched financially.
But anytime is a good time to care, and corporations have long found that it can be both gratifying and rewarding — consumers appreciate a brand that includes kindness and caring. Many organizations put this front and centre with their mission or vision statement. Some use it as a rallying force (even recruitment perc) for staff. Others take advantage of their social media accounts to share their activities, and even include consumers in charity initiatives. Many others do so privately, simply because they feel it is the right thing to do.
However it is done, genuine caring acts by organizations are appreciated. They have the great benefit of doing the initial good, making staff feel good, reflecting well on your brand… and each of these can cause ensuing good deeds and sentiment. Spreading the warmth and goodness round seems to manifest at this time of year, but many organizations make it a year-round priority.
Despite the Christmas-centric marketing that we are bombarded with, each faith has its holidays of festivity and celebration, and a common message of “be good to one another.” Caring for each other is a human condition, and one that we can each continue to embrace year-round.
Happy holidays to you all.
Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock