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Presidents’ Day Marketing and Thinking Outside the Box

Presidents_of_the_United_States,_1861As we look through our blog statistics, Facebook shares, 1+s and retweets, we can see that you like new ideas. Thinking outside the box and marketing a small business in different ways can interest new customers and bring old customers back for more.

With Presidents’ Day looming on the horizon, we thought we’d help think up some creative promotions. Going patriotic is the obvious choice. In fact, we’re already well into our 2014 Presidents’ Day campaign preparations and I can tell you, it’s going to be pretty red, white and blue. So what can you do as a small business to stand out?

The way to a customer's heart is through their stomach cherry pieThe Way to a Customer’s Heart is Through Their Stomach — You’ve seen free sample day at Costco, right? It seems everybody and their dog has decided to shop and replace a meal by gorging themselves on free samples. The moral to the story? People like free food. So how can you build this into your Presidents’ Day marketing strategy? Easy. Cherry pie. Even though it’s not true, most people still think George Washington chopped down a cherry tree. Play into the myth by offering cherry pie a la mode at an open house, or offering a sweepstakes that includes cherry pie from the local bakery as part of the prize package. It’s bound to get peoples’ attention and get them coming in your door or onto your site to register.

Honesty is the Best Policy, Except When It Isn’t — No, we’re not saying you should lie to your customers. That is NEVER a good idea. But maybe there’s a way to play off the “honest Abe” idea to generate some buzz. Why not host a “Lies I would tell to win X amount of your product or service” contest. Ask people to submit ideas in writing or online. Maybe it could even be a video contest. Then let other customers vote on the biggest lie, the funniest lie, the most outrageous lie and give awards like the “Pants On Fire” trophy or the “Longest Nose” trophy. Keep it fun, quirky and tongue-in-cheek so no one can even vaguely confuse this with you promoting the telling of lies as a casual practice. And be sure to get the contact information of everyone who votes by promising (and delivering) them a discount. This will encourage participation and help build up your database of prospective customers for future mailings.

Throw a Party — After all, Presidents’ Day was started in honor of George Washington’s and Abe Lincoln’s birthdays. So host a birthday party! Combine our first idea of offering food and highlighting cherries by arranging to have cherry cupcakes on hand for the celebration. Blow up lots of red, white and blue balloons, hang streamers and birthday banners and come up with your own patriotic rendition of Happy Birthday so you don’t have to pay a $150,000 fine to Warner/Chappell Music. (They’re the folks who claim to own the copyright to the 120-year-old song you might traditionally want to sing.) Go as far or be as conservative as you want, but make sure that whatever you’re going to do, you let customers and the community know you’re going to do it. Mail postcards, hand out flyers, send birthday invitations and let the local paper know what you’re up to. The car dealers shouldn’t be the only ones getting attention for their Presidents’ Day sales events this year!

Be the Presidents’ Day Police — Did you know that the apostrophe in Presidents’ Day should be after the “s” in “Presidents”? It should, because the day is held to honor multiple presidents. Yet millions of people and businesses put the apostrophe after the “t,” as if only one president has this day celebrated in their memory. Certainly not something one might create a marketing campaign around, but that’s just because they don’t think outside the box! Start collecting incorrect uses of the phrase “Presidents’ Day,” and feature them on a store window, bulletin board at your company, on a Facebook or Google Plus page, or on your website. Encourage others to help you stop the misspelling of Presidents’ Day. Maybe get the local schools involved as part of a unique grammar teachable moment. Use a loyalty card, and give them a stamp for every new error they bring in. Offer a prize to the person who submits the most instances of the apostrophe being in the wrong place. Who knows, this might be just weird enough to really capture peoples’ attention! Free press and people talking about your company can lead to small business success.

And really, that’s the point. You have to capture your customers’ attention. We are all constantly bombarded with marketing messages. The only way to make yours truly stand out is by doing something different. Hopefully these four ideas got you thinking differently so that you can create a unique Presidents’ Day (or any day!) marketing campaign of your own.

Please let us know if it did! And share your crazy ideas with us. It’s the best way to get new ideas going. Comment below, write on our 123Print Facebook wall or Google+ page, or tweet us. We love hearing from you!

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