Black Friday Can Help You Do Your Job Better in Any Industry. Here’s How.
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Black Friday 2016 is near and the deals are hot. For retail brands, Black Friday is often their biggest day of the year and can make or break their holiday season. Since 1932, the Friday after Thanksgiving has marked the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and over the past 20 years, Black Friday has become the most advertised event in the retail advertising calendar.
If you’re in retail, or honestly, if you’re in business, you’ve probably tried to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon. Whether it’s services, products, advice, or even content, everyone knows Black Friday is big business. But I believe there are many lessons that can be learned from Black Friday that can be utilized throughout the year in every industry.
If we deconstruct what makes Black Friday so popular, we can find a model to use in many aspects of business. Here’s how Black Friday can help you be better at your job in any industry
Door Busters & Creating Urgency
One of the hallmarks of any great Black Friday strategy is the Door Buster, with deals with prices that can’t be ignored. These are the front page of the circular and compete for the most insane deals for the day to get you to start at their store. Want an HD TV for $200? The hottest new toy for 50% off? Want the best deal of the year on appliance packages? You have a chance… If you’re in line early. These doorbusters create a sense of urgency and ramp up the FOMO (fear of missing out).
These deals are the bait. The high ticket items are in limited quantities and the better the deal, the less inventory they have. Some popular products they will stock and potentially even sell at a loss. Why? Because door busters are not the money makers, they are the motivators. They want the first crack at earning your business and taking the biggest chunk of the $929 Americans spend on Christmas gifts each year.
This strategy is easily implemented in other parts of any business. Find a product, service, idea, piece of content, guide, etc. that is valuable and use it as bait. But too many companies stop there. The deal is good, but if it’s always available, it’s not really a deal. The reason the door busters work so well on Black Friday is because it is once a year and they have to make that quick decision or they will lose out.
Find ways to create urgency for your best deals. It’s easy to fall into the discount trap and using discounts and freebies as a year-round strategy. At that point, the discounted price becomes what it’s worth. Make your best deals stand out and create urgency to ensure your discounts really provide value.
Focused Synergy Across Your Market
Black Friday wouldn’t work nearly as well if it didn’t have nearly global buy-in from retail stores around the country. Without the scale, it’s just a sale. And if you’re in retail and you’re not focusing on Black Friday, you’re going to be left behind.
You don’t have to have the scale of Black Friday to make this strategy work. Another iteration of the same concept is industry trade shows, where an entire industry comes together in joint force to promote the good of the market. But you’re probably already doing trade shows if they are good for your business.
I think this strategy becomes even more powerful on a more micro-level. If you’re running a web development business, find a way to collaborate with content providers, graphic designers, hosting companies, and branding companies to harness the power of synergy. Whether it’s a local advertising push between a group of individual companies, a social media campaign with a nice prize package to promote the well-being of the group as a whole, or a partnership to create an event that leverages the combined networks of all the founders, finding a creative way to build a coalition in your industry could be huge.
And as an added bonus, you have the ability to network and learn more about other businesses. You can see what they are doing well and incorporate those strategies in your branding, marketing, advertising, or day-to-day job.
Kickoff Strategy for an Important Event
Nearly 50% of retail brand revenue comes from sales between Thanksgiving and New Year Day, with the holiday gift-giving season the main driver. Christmas shoppers are the target for nearly every advertising campaign and are the bell of the retail ball. And Black Friday is the unofficial kickoff of this spending spree.
If your business has seasonality or a time where you do a majority of your business, consider creative ways to lead up to it. Make it something special and meaningful. Give your largest discount or add additional product to a lower level bundle. Make it a day or a week or a month that stands out from the rest. Run different types of marketing campaigns or try different channels. Kickoff your best time with a bang.
Creating Buzz & Setting Expectations
You get the best deals on Black Friday. There’s no debating that… right? Well, maybe not. Shoppers line-up for hours waiting for the best deals, but often times miss out on the door busters. Yet, most stores have enough on sale to keep everyone happy. Consumers know what to expect. If you are buying a big screen TV, you are probably waiting for Black Friday if you want the best deal.
This concept is incredibly important for most businesses. When you set the right expectations, you can deliver on your promises.
If you advertise the best deals of the year, make sure there are enough great deals that everyone is happy.
If you promise an amazing giveaway or an awesome digital product, deliver.
If your potential clients feel like they are part of a bait-and-switch, you can do more harm than good.
Create buzz, set expectation, and deliver on your promises.
I hope this serves as a springboard for ideas on how you can take these universal concepts and turn them into actionable items for your business. Please share any ideas or success you’ve had in the past or that you are going to try moving forward!