Often within coaching at Dumpling we talk about how to service our customers during common holidays, such as Christmas (Check out the ideas from our recent Holiday specific Office Hours here). But what if you serve a community that celebrates a less commercialized holiday or that has different customs? How can you make those customers feel included, and celebrated?
Highlight the Season in your Marketing & Client Outreach
If you serve a wide variety of clients, consider including several holidays within your marketing or discussing the holiday season in a more general sense. Seasonal things, like snowmen or falling leaves, might be more applicable than images with a nativity scene or other Christmas-specific marketing. Holiday cards are a wonderful touch that we recommend often, but they can focus on gratitude over the previous year before heading into the new year, instead of just “Merry Christmas”. Regardless of what holiday you or your customers celebrate a handwritten note to thank them for utilizing your business will leave a personal touch without causing offense. Your clients feeling seen and respected can help build a strong relationship that results in long-term business and even referrals.
Learn More About Holidays and Traditions that Your Clients or Community Celebrate
How do you go about starting to talk about holidays you may not have much knowledge about? How can you do this in a way that does not come across as just trying to make a sale or seem like appropriation? The answer is knowledge! Taking the time to research other traditions so that you can best anticipate your customers’ needs is a gesture of respect. The good news is most winter holidays have some similar principles, such as taking care of your community and treating each other with kindness and gratitude, so as long as you make an effort to talk about these celebrations in a respectful manner your community will forgive any small mistakes. Simply look up common customs and foods, as well as dates, for these celebrations and use that knowledge to build upon what you have learned in our typical holiday marketing-related coaching.
Look for Details that Help You Understand What’s Important to Your Client
Let’s look at Hanukkah as an example, which is December 18th-26th. Sometimes the stores you shop at will make marketing easier for you by creating a blue and white endcap display with Dreidels or other Jewish imagery which makes an easy picture for your social media. Or you may have seen a Menorah in your customer’s window. If you have a customer who celebrates Hanukkah you can confirm with them if they eat or host guests who follow a Kosher diet. This may mean they skip certain items that a non-Jewish person may purchase together, as typically meat and dairy are eaten separately. You’ll want to read the ingredients on any replacement suggestions to ensure there is no pork or shellfish, or that it has a Kosher certification on the package. There may even be a Kosher specific market in your area that you can offer to deliver from for these clients! Some families do gifts for Hanukkah, but they often include several smaller gifts that are shared over the span of the holiday, such as books and puzzles. If you offer ‘Santa services’ for clients with children consider looking into gift customs of other holidays so you can show all your clients what is available in the stores to fit their needs as the holiday approaches.
Remember that Holiday Celebrations are not Mutually Exclusive
Another example is Kwanzaa, which is a celebration of African heritage and community that is held from 12/26 to 1/1. Gift giving is done on the final day but the gift is often something creative that focuses on heritage. Kwanza is not a religious holiday so you may have customers that partake in Kwanza celebrations as well as other celebrations, like Christmas.
These are just a couple of examples of other holidays that may impact your clients or community. Consider researching the demographics of your region to help you decide what sorts of marketing to include in the future. And lastly, you can always ask clients directly what they celebrate or if there are any ways that you can better serve their needs or customs!