Global Swarming: Holiday Mania

Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

November 19, 2007

3 Min Read
Global Swarming: Holiday Mania

Let me start by saying I'm not a Scrooge. I was raised in a family in which we celebrated Christmas, and I still enjoy many of the related traditions, particularly because of the memories they bring to mind. I also relish the general disruption of life that takes place during this manic season. The mundane routine, especially at the office, goes right out the window as we focus on parties, gatherings and gift exchanges. (I wish I could say I took pleasure in "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men," but honestly, I see people being more rude and discourteous then ever during this time of year.)

Whatever else I feel about the winter holidays, I find the explosion of Xmas pop culture obnoxious and overwhelming. The retail market is so saturated with jingle bells, ornaments and stockings that you can't even buy your regular groceries without bringing a piece of "holiday cheer" into your home (i.e., even my milk carton sports a holly leaf and berry motif). And it seems like every year, the stores roll out the Christmas trees and garland a little earlier. In 2007, outlets like Lowe's and Michaels were displaying their fa-la-la wares as early as July.

But while I shudder at the social impact of this global holiday swarming, it means great things for self-storage. Because the earlier people begin their shopping (and the more they buy), the greater their need for a place to keep it safe from prying eyes.

Storage facilities have caught on to the No. 1 holiday marketing tactic: the "Santa's closet" bit. For the months of November and December, you offer up your empty units for the purpose of hiding gifts, displaying the idea on your most prominent signage for passersby. People who have never used or considered storage now have a reason to do so. When you're cruising around your local department or grocery store, getting a migraine from the abundance of flashing lights, wire lawn animals and ho-ho-hoing plastic Santas, just remember the business opportunity this craze represents.

A word of caution though: Be mindful and respectful of the fact that not all of your customers and potential customers are of a single religious background. I know it's very tempting to decorate for this season, and many a storage facility will don the icicle lights. That's fine. But if you're planning to go overboard with a full-blown nativity scene or sleigh with reindeer on your front lawn, think again.

This is an emtionally charged time of year for many people, and sometimes slights can be perceived where there are none. So be courteous in your approach to holiday decorating and promoting. Personally, I don't feel you should display anything at your facility that can't be appreciated by everyone with whom you do business. Innocuous decor like string lights, glittery snowflakes and garland made of greenery says "Enjoy the holiday season." Tradition-specific items such as Christmas trees or menorahs can unintentionally make customers feel uncomfortable.

It might not even be about religion. Anyone without family or friends or missing a loved one at this time might find the holiday reminder upsetting.

Does a "Santa's closet" promotion fall under this category of potential offense? Perhaps. Hopefully, most customers will see that for what it is: a way to drum up winter business. That will be for you to decide. Whatever you do to acknowledge the holidays this season, make sure it sends a message of goodwill and cheer. This will set the tone for a positive and profitable New Year.

Got some other holiday marketing ideas you'd like to share with our readers? Please post them in response to this blog!

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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