Don’t Let Your Brand Take a Vacation this Holiday

December 11, 2015 Blog 0 Comments

Businesses spend an exceptional amount of time and effort researching, defining and building their brand. From tone of voice to style to values, so much goes into creating a strong brand personality. Branding not only provides a consistent experience for consumers, it tells them who you are as a company and creates an emotional connection in the hearts and minds of existing and potential clients.  Through clarity and consistency of your brand, those relationships develop and grow.

So what does your brand have to do with the holidays? The holidays are chaotic. With consumer purchasing at an all-time high, businesses must come up with ways to increase sales through holiday advertising, promotions, and creative ideas. But in all the excitement, it’s easy to forget the brand you spent so much time establishing. The holiday season should be incorporated into your brand, not define it.

Holiday marketing is a great way to add a little something to your story, while maintaining the consistency of your message. The easiest way to do this is to keep your tone of voice consistent. For example, if you were designing a holiday campaign for an accounting firm known for their professionalism and no-nonsense work ethic, you likely wouldn’t use an informal or playfully cheeky tone of voice. The same is true regarding style. Changing the fonts, colors, logos and other visuals that characterize your brand could leave your company unrecognizable. Doing so would leave your customers confused and disconnected from your brand.

Coca-Cola made this mistake a few years back. For the first time in 125 years, the company designed a white soda can complete with polar bears. The white cans were launched in late October, just in time for the start of the holidays, and were scheduled to run through February. The new design had a powerful message behind it; in support of their partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, the company would donate up to $3 million for conservation efforts. However, that message was lost in the confusion. The campaign resulted in unhappy customers, who did not understand why the iconic red can had been changed. Many complained it looked like the silver Diet Coke can and some even went so far as to say the flavor was different. Because of the backlash, Coca-Cola reverted back to the red cans one month after hitting shelves. Inconsistent branding buried what could have been an incredibly impactful message.

While it’s tempting to get caught up in all of the bells and whistles of the holidays, staying true to your brand is the best way to be heard during such a chaotic time. The key is consistency – get into the holiday spirit without losing your identity. After all, that’s why your clients chose you over your competitors. Anyone can put on a Santa hat.

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