Christmas is a nervous time for marketers. Like kids who fear they may have been more naughty that nice, they’re never sure what Santa will bring – or if he’ll visit at all. The rule – for those who want full stockings and fat sales charts – is to weave a web of unexpected magic, and to do it like no one else.
I saw this first-hand a couple of weeks ago when I popped into Le Bon Marché in Paris. With surprises at every turn, it was an exquisite shopping experience – an example of how imagination can create a far more exciting retail adventure than the predictability of algorithm-driven purchase prompts. Captivating displays and unexpected gift ideas, packaged for maximum desirability, teased from every shelf. I easily spent a couple of hours in festive heaven, buying gifts that I stumbled on by accident. Since I didn’t know they existed there’s no way I could have dropped them into the search box of my favourite online stores. The experience surprised me as surely as my discoveries will surprise my family.
What sounds like a sales pitch for Le Bon Marché is really a sales pitch for Christmas magic. Every brand has to generate its own adrenalin rush of festive excitement, whether it trades on the high street or online – or both. How do you spark the child within us all? How do you turn Christmas shopping from an annual chore into a glittering adventure?
With just two weeks to go, there’s not a lot you can do to spice up this year’s sales. But just imagine how wonderful Christmas 2019 would be if you could make it glitter like never before.