$Happy Holidays$

Brands that did holiday marketing right and bright

What do Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have in common?

Apart from the worldwide cheer, you get to see some big brands offering discounts and promotional offers that you’ve probably never heard of before (errr…unless you heard them last year… or the year before..or..you get my drift).

Plus, with a change in seasons (bye bye summer and hello winter), retailers, brands, and basically everyone in the market come rushing in with holiday discounts and offers.

It’s about the holiday spirit: It’s also a lot about the money

Did you know that, on an average, retailers make $57.4 billion on Black Friday and $2.29 billion on Cyber Monday alone? There’s obviously no reason to not hop onto the bandwagon when it comes to hooking in new customers for your brand.

Not surprisingly, the report discloses that Amazon was the most mentioned retailer on social media, with close to 450,000 posts; Walmart was a close second.

The term Black Friday itself received more mentions than did Thanksgiving! So yeah, Black Friday is a thing in America.

But there’s an even bigger frenzied holiday fad in China — Singles’ Day. It began as a protest of sorts against Valentine’s Day, propelled by college students in the 1990s, and is mostly linked to the e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

This year, Singles’ Day was bigger than ever, with Chinese consumers breaking all-time records by spending $25 billion across Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. According to Bloomberg, the company’s processors handled 256,000 transactions per second on the Single’s day sale.

Want to jump in now and come up with a discounting strategy for your business? Here’s our round up of brands that have done it right — consider this list our holiday gift to you!

1. Starbucks

In about a month, it’s going to be the time of the year when everyone’s anticipating the Starbucks’ #RedCupContest.

In 2014 and 2015, with a simple strategy of inviting people to upload a picture of their Red Cup for a contest, Starbucks saw a picture on Instagram every 14 seconds. #RedCupContest was a clear winner.

What we love: Starbucks took customer engagement to the next level by inviting their customers to be a part of their marketing. And of course, everyone loves gifts!

2. Barnes & Noble

Some people are really good at gifting. They know exactly what to gift for which occasion. However, most of us have no clue about how gifting works and end up buying similar looking fancy hampers of chocolates.

So here’s what Barnes & Noble did. They invited people to tweet to using the #BNGiftTip, asking for book recommendations. And then they jumped in with book recommendations. Isn’t that amazing?

What we love: There is no better gift than a good read, and the personalization of such a gift really helps in building an emotional connect with a brand.

3. TD Bank

Everyone loves a little cheer around Thanksgiving. So, as part of its #MakeTodayMatter campaign, the TD Bank in the US and Canada made a video of the team giving out $30,000 to 24 people across 24 communities. These people were then asked to figure out how to give the money back to their neighborhood.

What we love: TD Bank were able to read into the spirit of the holidays, which is giving. And the campaign was a massive hit, as expected.

4. Hotel Tonight:

Hotel Tonight ran a huge campaign around the idea of making holiday visits to the family, a lot easier. Under the Visit, Don’t Stay theme, they gave customers the option to rent a hotel nearby instead of paying an uncomfortable visit to your family. People across social media were invited to share their horror (chuckle worthy) stories while on their holiday.

What we love: The campaign was a huge hit on social media because of their quirky posters and funny one liners.

5. Hinge

“What are you thankful for?”

This is the question that the dating app asked its users in an email. What’s interesting about this email is the timing — they sent it around Thanksgiving, a time when everyone wishes to spend the holidays with someone special. And Hinge was helping its users make real connections and be thankful for them during the holidays.

What we love: Did you know that ads that capitalize on sentimentality have been shown to score 50% higher in emotional appeal, no matter what the season might be?