What is a signature promotion and do I need one this holiday season?


There’s a German restaurant in NYC named Rolf’s that’s been a neighborhood staple for over 40 years. During most months, the establishment attracts a small, local crowd. But in the fall and winter, people line up around the block for hours just for the opportunity to warm up over a drink while taking in one of the most elaborate Christmas displays imaginable.



You see, every year Rolf’s transforms from a rather unassuming restaurant into a winter wonderland. Virtually every inch of every surface in the restaurant is decorated. What used to be a holiday business booster has expanded to an annual event that draws interested locals and tourists for nearly half the year.  Rolf’s has grown its signature promotion to such an elevated level that it has become a “must see” in NYC.

As you plan for this holiday, why not think about creating your own signature promotion?. This is about much more than stringing some lights or offering free gift wrap. This is the type of promotion you can build on year after year and resonates with your community.

Your promotion should:

         Become synonymous with your brand
         Build in importance and/or scale over time
         Be unique or at least better executed than others like it
         Be buzz worthy
         Draw new customers and beresponsible for an increase in business.

You’ll need to consider the size of your store, target audience, nuances of your community, your personal talents and passions as you develop this idea.

Here a few ideas to start getting you inspired.

Add a service
Create a “send us your list” service through which you pull appropriate gift items and have them ready for review during a scheduled private shopping appointment.This is personal shopping at the highest level!

Create a video station where customers can create video cards to send to friends and family. Go all out with props and décor.

Align with a charity
Make it meaningful. If you’re going to raise money for a local animal rescue, be sure showcase adoptable dogs regularly and even dress them for the holidays.  

Whether you’re raising money/awareness for vets, children, animals or hospitals, be sure to include those who are affected to bring humanity to the effort. Everyone collects donations for charity during the holidays. Your job is to make an impact.

Exclusive offerings
Create a mini-gallery, showcasing local artists/artisans throughout the season.  
Make sure the objects are exclusive to your store. Have visitors vote on their favorites and award prizes to the winners.

Remember, your signature promotion doesn’t have to be about the holidays but something you do to mark the season. Notoriety doesn’t happen overnight. But if you start thinking about this as a long term project and invest the time and effort, perhaps one day you’ll have a line out the door as well!


Until next time remember, 
You can do this!