Successful Holiday Marketing Campaigns Your Business Can Learn from

As consumers hit the stores to buy holiday presents, have you planned what your company will be doing for its holiday marketing this season? According to the National Retail Federation, 20 percent to 40 percent of annual sales happen in November and December for small and midsize retailers. Now is the time to ramp up your holiday marketing strategy to reach new markets. If you need some inspiration for your holiday market penetration efforts, check out the following success stories:

KFC’s ‘Kentucky for Christmas!’ Campaign in Japan

Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, but that didn’t stop KFC from becoming a popular restaurant for a Christmas meal in that country. It all started in 1974, when KFC launched its famous “Kentucky for Christmas!” campaign. Since then, the restaurant chain has become a huge hit, with the Japanese waiting in long lines just to get their hands on “finger lickin’ good” chicken on Christmas Eve. One reason for its success might be that turkey, the traditional meat of choice for Americans during the holidays, is hard to find in Japan. KFC wisely chose to market chicken as the holiday bird of choice. Find a way to link your product to the holiday being celebrated and make it stick—sometimes all it takes is simple messaging.

Starbucks’ ‘Christmas Wish’ Campaign in China

Starbucks has the Chinese sipping from its cups of holiday cheer due to its clever marketing strategies. In 2013, the coffee chain launched “Christmas Wish in Starbucks,” which used Sina Weibo, a popular social network in China, to encourage people to become “mayors” of a local Starbucks by sending gift wishes to its followers. Though it’s good to use social networks like Facebook—in fact, Crowdtap found that 39.3 percent of consumers say Facebook influences them to purchase a gift—it’s even better to use the social network that is most popular in your target audience’s country.

Mattel’s ‘Toy Feliz’ Campaign in the United States

Last year, in an effort to connect with Hispanic mothers in the United States, Mattel launched a campaign called “Toy Feliz,” a clever play on words from the Spanish phrase “Estoy feliz,” which means “I am happy.” This was the first time Mattel crafted a campaign specifically targeting Hispanics. In the past, the toy company might have simply taken its English marketing material and translated it into other languages. Clearly, Mattel learned the importance of localizing content versus merely translating it. It pays to cater to your target audience and speak their language, no matter if you’re looking to translate website content or even adapt your ad campaign.

About Amy Rigby

Amy Rigby is a freelance writer and world traveler who divides her time mostly between the San Francisco Bay Area and Cusco, Peru. She has a fascination with words, language acquisition and all things animals. Her writing specialities are marketing, travel, photography and technology.