The Good Old Days

By: Dan Kennedy on: January 31st, 2011 3 Comments

Valentines Day is quickly approaching, and it got me thinking about holidays in general.The best of times was always during the holidays

Thanksgiving was a big deal when I was a kid. For us, it literally was over the river (a wood bridge) and through the woods to Grandma’s house we went. Relatives gathered. But mostly what I was waiting for was the Friday after Thanksgiving.

I vividly recall the day and weekend immediately after Thanksgiving as something really big and special, when I was a kid. That was the official start of the Christmas season. That’s when you drove into the city, to the big department store on public square, and saw Santa Claus, and shopped, and, in my case, got a snowball sundae at the Sterling-Linden department store’s cafeteria.

The death of the downtown department store as mecca has destroyed a lot of ‘specialness.’ Now the holiday shopping experience surrounds you and bombards you.

Worse, now Christmas season starts before Halloween. I’m sick of it before Thanksgiving even gets here. I don’t think we’ve done the kids, ourselves or even retail commerce any favors by stretching the season into a calendar quarter.

But the bigger point is how much of “the special” has been taken away, spoiled, diminished and diluted.

There’s real opportunity there for the marketer who finds a way to give his customers a truly special event, something to look forward to with anticipation, to experience with awe and wonder and fun.

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    3 Responses

    1. Kevin Cullis says:

      And don’t forget the retail stores that blare Holiday music during that same amount of time that is an irritant to both the employees and customers to no end, especially the employees. Do you remember the first time you did something? How about the second? Third? Tenth? One hundredth? That’s what retail has done to the holidays when entering their stores and listening to a number of months of the same music. Cheapened it. And don’t forget the noise of music and the crowds of customers being bombarded with this noise pollution.

      Oh, and by the way, a friend of mine who’s an audio engineer said that designing and building of any new buildings the audio is the LAST, if EVER, considered by retail CEOs and their construction people that affects a customer’s experience. They all want music, but not how music with large numbers of customers affects sound levels.

    2. Speaking of the holidays, this is the time of year I prepare for something special – a gift for family, friends, and – of course – customers for year’s end. With all the marketing expertise on this blog, any creative Thanksgiving or Xmas gift, promotions, or events that are unique? My only suggestion is to create a ‘set’, so after each year a paying client is with you they get a new piece of the set, which makes it anticipated. For example, first year is a coffee mug, then slippers, then a robe, then a coffee maker, etc. This is a great promotion when you provide services, it communicates to your client they can relax like royalty while your company does the work. Any other ‘set’ ideas?

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