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.
As you start planning here are some basic tips to creating a true signature promotion:
It becomes synonymous with your brand
It can build in importance and/or scale over time
It is unique or at least better executed than others like it
It is buzz worthy
It draws new customers and is responsible 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!
Give them a reason to come in-store
Create a video station where customers can create video cards to send to friends and family. Go all out with props and décor. If you live in a military town, they can send the videos to their loved ones and you can show them in-store to honor those in service.
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.
Consider putting a cash value on loyalty points and allow customers to donate those points to a charity of their choice.
Everyone collects food and toys for charity during the holidays. Your job is to make an impact.
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.