When it comes to Black Friday, marketers tend to respond one of two ways. Either they shudder in revulsion and firmly dismiss the notion of getting involved, or they excitedly start talking about how they’re going to make this year’s campaign the biggest yet.
If you fall into the first category, this blog is for you. If you fall into the second category, you’re probably better off reading our post on the 9 steps to a successful Black Friday marketing campaign.
So, back to you, anti-Black Friday marketers.
The benefits of Black Friday
We get it: the big retail weekend can feel chaotic, mainstream and short-sighted.
Add a pandemic into the mix, and giving discounts at a time when profit margins are already tight feels counter-intuitive.
But what if we told you Black Friday doesn’t have to mean shouty flashing adverts, crashing websites and online baskets piled high, only to be discarded at checkout? That it could mean increasing your bottom line – not just for November, but throughout the festive period and into the new year?
Because that’s the reality. Black Friday is a valuable opportunity to strengthen your luxury brand profile, acquire new customers and drive sales. It doesn’t even have to involve a discount.
It’s not just us who thinks so. More brands get onboard with Black Friday every year. Even those like Jigsaw, who previously vowed to never take part in the seasonal promotion. And Selfridges, who technically doesn’t do Black Friday but does hold a ‘Christmas comes early’ sale at exactly the same time. Oh, and Liberty London, who we helped run a Black Friday referral campaign last year (check it out in our Black Friday lookbook).
Starting to feel your unshakeable resolve to never take part beginning to, well, shake yet? Read on.
Three ways luxury brands can celebrate Black Friday
Emphasise your brand positioning
Often luxury brands shun Black Friday out of fear it'll undermine their high-end reputation. But this can backfire if it means customers go elsewhere.
Rather than sacrificing your brand image, getting involved with Black Friday can strengthen it.
If you’re a brand that prides itself on being classy, high-end and exclusive, incorporate this messaging into your campaign.
Take, for instance, your copy and design. Enhance your traditional colour palette with a Black Friday splash of monochrome or cool metallics. And rather than featuring copy shouting about SALES that shoppers should BUY NOW BEFORE IT’S GONE, keep your tone of voice sophisticated with talk of exclusive giveaways, special touches and luxury goodies.
You can find more ideas around copy and design in our Black Friday lookbook. If you’re a client, our team of designers and copywriter can also help you come up with bespoke branding ideas for your campaign.
Make it an experience
Two years ago, in the pre-Covid world, 73% of Black Friday sales were online. Given everything that's happened since, this year's figure is set to be even higher. Recreating your in-store retail experience online will be critical to making your Black Friday campaign a success.
Turn your website and (where possible) brick-and-mortar stores into Black Friday sanctuaries. Other brands feature garish sale signs and rapidly selling out items; yours can present a calming environment with complimentary giveaways and exclusive access. You could even take it a step further and make your Black Friday event invite-only, welcoming your most loyal customers and brand ambassadors.
Tailor personalised content to customer segments. Aid product discovery with promotions and free samples. Make it easy and convenient for your customers to try on products in the comfort of their homes.
Better still, create an experience that gets people talking on social (bonus points if that doesn’t involve an Instagrammable flower wall). You can find out more about how to recreate your in-store retail experience online in this blog.
Offer luxury incentives (without the discount)
Black Friday is about more than slashed prices; it’s about value.
There are plenty of ways to make your customers feel they’re getting good value without undermining your luxury brand image. You could, for example, invite shoppers to VIP events, enter them into a luxury giveaway competition, or offer complimentary extras (such as delivery or personalisation). Build these incentives into your Black Friday referral programme to drive even more powerful results.
Another option is to host an invite-only Black Friday sale online. Not only will this maintain a sense of exclusivity that flatters your customers, but it’ll also encourage others to sign up to your mailing list so they don’t miss out next time.
So there we have it, our thoughts on why and how this should be the year your brand celebrates Black Friday.
We’re already working with a number of luxury brands on their Black Friday referral campaigns. With previous participants including Yves Saint Laurent, Farfetch and Net-A-Porter, the real question left to ask is: can you really afford not to?