3 Planning Tips for 'Allidays' and Holidays
‘Tis the season for retailers to get wrapped up in holiday planning, but not everyone is looking ahead to December. Some are gearing up for consumer promotions around Día De Muertos (Nov. 1) or Singles' Day (Nov. 11), and savvy retailers should take notice. While the big occasions tend to deliver the same returns year to year, uncovering incremental wins in unexpected places is a smart strategy, especially as data shows younger consumers are embracing smaller, less mainstream events that speak to their affinity for the unique.
If you’ve seen renewed energy around previously undercelebrated occasions like National Sibling Day (April 10) or National Pet Month (May), you’re not alone. So-called “micro-holidays,” or “allidays,” have been gathering momentum in recent years as people use these occasions to showcase their favorite family members in social media (more dog photos, please!) or flout traditional holidays like Valentine’s Day in favor of unconventional days like Singles’ Day or Galentine’s Day (Feb 13). In fact, a 2022 survey from YPulse showed more than half of 13-39 year-olds didn’t care about Valentine’s Day, with 63 percent calling it “overrated.”
Many retailers are leveraging these alliday occasions to capture consumer attention. Notably, Amazon.com started a sector-specific sale day when it hosted a Pet Day to kick off National Pet Month in 2022. More recently, the Cinema Foundation celebrated National Cinema Day (Sept. 3) by offering $3 tickets for any movie to combat typically slower Labor Day Weekend movie attendance. The strategy worked, as the nationwide promotion became the highest-attended day of the year, drawing an estimated 8.1 million moviegoers and $24.3 million in box-office returns.
Here are a few things to consider as you plan your own alliday promotions:
1. Identify ownable moments in time.
It’s hard to remember a time when July 11 (7/11) wasn’t an excuse to go to 7-Eleven for a slurpee, the convenience store’s beloved summer treat. That’s because 7-Eleven created its own alliday — National Free Slurpee Day — which officially turned 20 years old this summer. It’s a great example of how self-created celebration days or nontraditional holidays can help brands and retailers increase brand awareness while also driving sales.
The best allidays to support are ones that create unique moments of engagement with your customers — especially if it allows them to connect with loved ones to create new traditions and annual occasions, even virtually. Barbara Hagen, vice president of sales and marketing at ThriftBooks, the world's largest online independent used book seller, concurs. “Customers have always looked to ThriftBooks as a resource for gift giving and to celebrate important annual events like Teacher Appreciation Week. Giving book lovers new opportunities to embrace reading or share books with friends and family on World Book Day or World Poetry Day is a delightful excuse to help them indulge in their passion, while driving a stronger connection with our brand.”
2. Connect with fans and create new fans.
Another reason to consider more everyday holidays is to capitalize on the growing gifting economy. According to Coresight Research data, the overall U.S. gifting market is expected to reach $847 billion by 2025, inclusive of product gifting, gift card gifting, and corporate gifting across the major holidays and every “just because” day in between.
Hagen added: “This year, ThriftBooks added a gift card program which helped us make the most of both holidays and allidays, as consumers could text or send e-gift cards with a video message or photo to make for a fun and engaging unboxing experience for the recipient. Adding this personal touch to our already successful gift card offering helped us increase our gift card sales by triple digits vs. a year ago.”
3. Consider corporate gifting opportunities.
Even human resources departments can take a page out of the retailer handbook to surprise and delight its employees during alliday occasions, with retailers reaping the benefits.
“Appreciation holidays like National Grilling Month or National Chicken Wing Day provide retailers a unique opportunity to celebrate foods, activities and hobbies consumers love," says Darby McLean, president, Spiceology. "Companies can capitalize on these moments with clever digital gifting promotions to their loyal following, which can translate to new revenue streams outside of expected holiday windows. We’ve also seen success with corporate gifting on unexpected holidays. Surprising and delighting your employees with a collection of rubs and spices on National Hamburger Day delivers a gift they can really use and enhances their summer with a dash of employer appreciation … and good flavor, of course.”
As you plan for your own marketing moments and promotions in 2023, a glance at the National Day Calendar may be worth adding to your checklist.
Pari Raccah is the general manager of GiftNow, a Synchrony solution.