Is your business a Halloweenie?

By Beacon Staff

After Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s Days provoke the highest holiday spending from adults.

Is your business ready for it? No matter what kind of business you own, you can take advantage of Halloween in some fashion, have a little fun and generate some PR. Oh yeah – and make some sales!

The obvious thing is for you and your staff to dress up on Halloween, but that doesn’t help you much if you don’t have a retail or service business where the public is in and out of your store all day.

If you do ask your staff to dress up, be sure and provide them with Do’s and Don’ts well in advance so they can make good choices and still enjoy the fun. Some costumes might create safety issues in your workplace, and some people always need a little reminder of what is and isn’t tasteful. You more than likely don’t want your VP of Consumer Loans coming to the bank dressed up like Britney Spears.

Everyone has options if they plan ahead a little. You still have time if you hurry, and can include Halloween-related marketing in your print, direct mail and radio ads. The themes should be obvious.

An accountant can have their staff dress up like some scary creature (a politician comes to mind) and put a headline on their ad that says “Scared of paying too much of your hard-earned money to the IRS?” and then proceed to describe and make an offer.

An attorney might send a mailer to their clients reminding them that a hard deadline (December 31, for example) is coming soon and include a picture or clip art of the Grim Reaper, or similar character.

Quick lube store ads could show their costumed staff down in the lube bay (the dungeon) under the vehicle. Make an offer to Treat your car in tip top shape so that you don’t get Tricked into being stranded on the side of the road as winter arrives.

An on-site Halloween theme event at your business location is another obvious, but rarely used, idea. People have live remotes with a radio station all the time. Rarely do they have any fun with them and make them truly worth driving across town to attend. You could make this a customer appreciation event as well. It won’t be long before the hectic season is here, may as well do it now and start a tradition.

Obviously, you can make these ads, events and offers as edgy or sedate as you like – just try to have some fun with them. Even the clients of accountants and lawyers like fun stuff.

Craft your Halloween offer so that you know how much business comes directly from it. You want to know what works and what doesn’t, even when wearing a clown mask.

If you / your business / your clients don’t fit with Halloween for some reason, it’s easy to turn it around and still make use of the day.

Maybe you own a religious book store, so you may not wish to promote Halloween. You figure that your clients might not appreciate it if your staff came to work in costumes that day and festooned the store with black and orange, goblins and ghosts. Only you know your clientèle well enough to decide what you should and shouldn’t do. Still, do something.

There’s no reason why you couldn’t provide a fun alternative. Perhaps the staff arrives for work dressed as their favorite person from the Bible. Or you have your own version of a Haunted House with a religious theme, using scenes from your favorite stories or lessons.

There’s room for almost every business to do something with Halloween (directly or indirectly), you just have to put a little thought into it. Start now, there’s a trick or treat bag full of holidays between now and March (see, even I can do it).

Want to learn more about Mark or ask him to write about a business or marketing problem? See Mark’s site or contact him at mriffey@flatheadbeacon.com.

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