… and let’s talk about the rest of the holidays, because ready or not, they’re here. This year sure looks different and takes us out of our comfort zone – but that’s not always a bad thing. Step away from your tried and true and look to these six POIs for some tantalizing tactics. Gobble gobble. 

Branding for the birds

We know Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, and some brands are aiming to make it look really different.

You may have heard of beer can chicken. Well, Anheuser-Busch wants you to try beer can turkey with a Budweiser-themed turkey stand for those with nice weather and plans for a Thanksgiving grill fest. Go for the turkey stand and get the Budweiser leftover container for half price. We don’t have to make this stuff up, folks.

Those products seem more in line for those hosting a decent-sized gathering on turkey day, which many health organizations are not recommending this year.

Arby’s has the right idea for a socially distanced holiday: a deep fried turkey-shaped pillow that fits partially over your eyes. Perfect for dreaming of happier holidays past and future.

Christmas tree delivery

In “It only makes sense in 2020” news, yes you can order a real Christmas tree from multiple retailers, and it will be delivered to your doorstep.

For some, trekking to a tree farm or a favorite Christmas tree lot is an annual tradition, but the pandemic keeps many of us from doing unnecessary shopping. That doesn’t automatically equal a fake, faux or artificial tree.

USA Today features an updated list of places you can order your Tannenbaum – and maybe even get it delivered for free. That means no tying it to the top of the car and potentially reenacting that famous tire-changing scene from “A Christmas Story.”

“Oh, fuuuuudge!”

Virtual shepherding

Who would have guessed a year ago that managers would have to remind their teams to wear pants? That’s the reality as many office and client meetings moved to digital, and we discovered a webcam sees a lot of things.

Managers pivoted in many ways in the last nine months or so, but Forbes says these three skills are optimum to thrive as a remote leader in 2021.

Amplify the emphasis on vision and purpose: Connecting individual and team contributions to the company vision, mission and purpose helps focus everyone on understanding the impact of their work in the big picture.

Don’t lose that one-on-one: It can be a challenge for managers to have moments of human connection with their people in any location. However, finding opportunities to connect and share with each member of your team allows you to listen and learn with empathy.

Try to recognize burnout: When you work and live in the same place, and you’re not supposed to be out in the world much, it may be hard to completely turn the job off. People are feeling uneasy because they’re often physically alone while working, with no watercooler around which to have a chat. Use your empathy to recognize when someone is off their game, and offer some reassurance.

We see you when you’re sleeping

Among other milestones, 2020 looks to be a record-breaking year for online holiday shopping, due to many brick and mortar stores negatively affected by the pandemic.

If you’ve been able to pivot from physical to digital commerce, congratulations. But so have many others, and lots of ecommerce retailers will compete for the same dollar today and in the coming weeks. Business 2 Community has an early gift for you: tips to encourage recurring customers.

Utilize two types of emails that customers often click on: order confirmations and abandoned carts. When customers look to see that their order is processed correctly and check for delivery updates, you can use that space to make some sweet offers – Buy 1, Get 1 – or cross-sell some other goodies they might want.

Shoppers leave items in their digital carts for a variety of reasons, so don’t be shy to remind them with a friendly email.

Sure, “He sees you when you’re sleeping” is a creepy part of that carol when you think about it, but technology now exists to allow you to really understand your customers and their shopping behavior. That technology helps you predict what they might want next. If your online shop lacks in data collection and analyzing, perhaps that’s something you should ask Santa for this year. (Or just ask us. We can help.)

In defense of squirrely design

Veteran automobile producer BMW uses the phrase, “OK Boomer,” in its new marketing campaign. The effort defends the appearance of the 2022 iX, a vehicle that’s grill is described in one Tweet as having “squirrel teeth.”

Car-centric site Jalopnik describes the odd campaign choice BMW takes in this new article. 

“Did we somehow start to feel uncomfortable with the unknown? Or have we just stopped being open for anything new?” a narrator for an iX commercial asks. The automaker had an inkling the tall grill design was going to cause some blowback, so it readied this campaign to get in front of the gripes.

We think calling out “Boomers,” a generation more likely than others to have the cash for a new Beemer, is a risky move we wouldn’t try. Good luck, iX. 

Pop your social

Which Instagram influencer coined the phrase, “A picture’s worth a thousand words?” None of ‘em, but that old saying remains true when it comes to your social media posts.

Including a visual element in your social posts can show (not tell) who you are and why you stand out from the competition. Hubspot analyzed 8,000 posts from companies and learned that Facebook statuses with images had 53% more likes, and 104% more comments, than text only-posts. Nasdaq offers an octet of tips for adding visuals to your content, and here are three that stand out to us:

Capture attention and get your followers to easily digest your information with infographics. Numbers and figures easily get skipped over in text, but a little color and some font flair can give life to your data. Infographics don’t have to have a complicated design to be effective. Canva offers some simple, intuitive options for creating free infographics, for example.

Mix it up with a variety of visuals, including infographics, photos and videos. Casual (taken with a cell phone) photos of your team, products, services and customers can demonstrate your brand’s authenticity. Stock photos are easy to skip right past, as most people recognize them as such.

Lots of search queries are for images, so add search engine optimization to your visuals. You can add what is called alternative text (alt-text) to images. That way Google and other search engines can use your visual element descriptions to direct eyes to your posts. 

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