As I write this we’re heading towards Christmas and I know that a lot of you are starting to wind down. I’m always reluctant to write off the end of a year but I understand the impulse. This year seems to have flown by. There’s political turmoil that’s making everyone feel tired. There have been a lot of changes in my personal life this year too. I’m ready for some time off. But that doesn’t mean I’m switching off altogether. This is a good time for reflection and thinking about the year to come. So I thought I’d give you some Christmas themed food for thought. There’s something about Christmas stories that really hit a nerve and I think it’s something we can learn from and carry through our marketing for the rest of the year. So I asked myself a question. Why do Christmas stories resonate with us?
Here’s what I think lies behind it.
We’re tired and emotional
Yes, I know that has another meaning. Come on, I’m a writer. Maybe we will all be tired and emotional after a few Sherries on Christmas Day, but that’s not the point. By the time we get to the end of the year we’re exhausted. Not just by the things happening in our own lives, but everyone else’s too. The news is grim and we’re constantly bombarded by social media messages making other people’s lives look better than they actually are. I’m about ready to gather my family around me and snuggle under a blanket, hoping it all goes away.
To me, it explains why Christmas stories with a bit of magic in them are so appealing. It’s comforting to believe that there is help out there if you need it. Of course, I’m a pragmatic sort so still take the view that if you want help you need to ask for it. But Christmas stories help us to tap into the idea that the world isn’t all bad.
Trying to achieve a good work life balance has been at the top of a lot of priority lists for a while now. It seems as if everyone has their own definition but when you have children time with them is always in there somewhere. This year’s BBC One short, ‘Wonderland’ capitalises on this beautifully. The idea of a stressed mum and son desperately needing time together is incredibly powerful.
It’s easy to feel that we’re short changing our children sometimes. Running a business can consume every waking minute if we let it. We’re often told that we ‘should’ want more time with the family, but that misses the point for me. The Christmas stories that celebrate the true meaning of the season tend to be about putting people first. Even Scrooge learned to be charitable.
How Christmas stories help us throughout the year
Christmas stories tap into some pretty powerful concepts. Things like helping those in need and spending time with the people you love. They’re ideas that your marketing can evoke all year round. You might not believe in magic, but encouraging people to ask for help is no bad thing, especially if you’re the one making your living by offering it. It can be hard for a small business to build trust with their customers, but people love the idea that they’re supporting the little guy. Those memes that talk about small business owners doing a happy dance when they get a new order are popular for a reason.
These themes might resonate more strongly at Christmas, but they’re there all year round. How can you use them in your business?
This is my last blog post for 2018. Whatever you’re doing I hope you have a happy and peaceful Christmas and I’ll see you again in 2019! If you’d like to start the New Year with a new marketing strategy, visit my website to find out more.