Now that we are almost half-way through November, the winter holiday season is quickly approaching. With brands releasing their annual Christmas commercials, gift guides and holiday promotions, consumers are starting to feel the pressures of party planning and present shopping. How is your brand using the most wonderful time of the year to its advantage? Below are the TACK10 Tuesday Top 5 Ways to Leverage the holidays.

1. Integrate with Cause
What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by giving back? Giving back while working toward your own company’s goals at the same time! By integrating with a charity this holiday season and developing a co-branded cause campaign or promotion, you can work toward your CSR objectives while supporting an important cause and showcasing your shared values to the consumers who align with that cause.

2. Use Creativity to Promote Non-Traditional Gifts
Consumers are becoming increasingly non-traditional when it comes to purchasing gifts for their loves ones during the holiday season. Socks and t-shirts make great gifts, but unless there is a ground-breaking message associated with these products, they’re not likely to turn heads. Does your brand offer a non-traditional gift or non-traditional approach to a gift? Then use a non-traditional method of promoting it!

3. Get Social
People are already using the internet to research what to buy for their loved ones, so use that knowledge to your advantage and make sure your brand is visible across social media during this crucial time. Using influencer marketing, user-generated content, and eye-catching visuals/video can help draw consumers in while deciding what to buy. Not only are people researching products more than other times of year, the winter tends to lead to more captive audiences (those who switch to public transit instead of driving in harsh conditions, people waiting for car service or doctor’s appointments, those stuck at home during a storm, etc.). Take advantage of this and present them with interactive social content.

4. Re-frame and Re-train Customer Service
Customer service is always an important component of the in-store experience, but with more crowded locations and busier shoppers, it is even more crucial to have excellent customer service during the holidays. A good user experience, whether online or in store, leads to better brand affinity. Companies that take a deeper look at how to improve their customer service skills in advance of the holiday season can expect to develop better relationships with their consumers during a sometimes stressful time.

5. The Popular Pop-Up Shop
There has been a trend in marketing in the last few years, and that has been the rise of the pop-up shop. From online retailers opening temporary shops to sell merchandise in person, to smaller brands without a single location moving from shop to shop, to strategic partnerships that have led to new products and the need for a unique storefront, pop-up shops are everywhere. Taking advantage of the holiday season to open a pop-up shop can serve as an interesting way to attract new customers with a sense of exclusivity. Do not think of a pop-up shop as a solely physical location – creating a pop-up Christmas department within an existing store, a pop-up sale on an e-commerce website, or a unique holiday-focused landing page can produce the same kind of results.